10 May, Monday – Graces

Monday of the 6th Week of Eastertide

Acts 16:11-15
Jn 15:26-16:4

Come and stay with us.

I have been told that one of my charisms is hospitality, and that I am quite generous. I never think of it as anything noble. I just share what I have, nothing so extraordinary. Recently though, I feel that this ‘gift’ can be a double-edged sword – it can be fulfilling or can suck the life out of a person. When we are spiritually aligned with God’s will – things we do for others can be so life giving. However, when we are not in a great place, little things people ask can be energy sapping. Which was how I was feeling a few years back. Being in full swing with ministry work and using my ‘professional expertise’ to help in some projects, I became a bit sapped by the time Lent came around. Holy Week that year saw me crashing to new lows. Not because I was doing too much, but simply because I had no capacity to give any more.

I observed 3 things during this time:

  1. When we allow God to work through us, there is nothing we cannot do. But on our own strength, things can get pretty messy.
  2. God never, ever leaves us. He is strong when we are weak.
  3. He sends people to help and journey with us.

In today’s first reading, Lydia from the city of Thyatira touched me. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly. She was open to what the Lord was doing for her and it touched her immensely. God used her to bless those around her. Lydia offered kindly hospitality to Paul and his companions, having received the gift of the gospel and the grace of God. Lydia didn’t just open her heart, she also opened her home. She was not only the first European convert to Christianity, she also created the first church in her own home.

We have all been graced in various ways by the Lord. Having received from the Lord, we give from what we have received. As I look back on my own ministry, I recall the time when I was most joyful, no matter how tired and lacking in sleep, I felt much joy bursting from my heart. But what has happened to me recently? Perhaps I let ‘life’ happen, the burdens and pains of this world took over, and I had forgotten to lean on Him, to derive spiritual sustenance from God, so readily available to me. As I held onto this rope, desperately clinging on to my faith, my mind wondered if the rope was anchored to anything. Then the Lord spoke to me “It’s not you who is holding onto me. But I am holding onto to you.” Wow!!!! Indeed in weakness, He is strong.

Brothers and sisters, have you lost the joy in serving the Lord? Have you been sapped of energy? Perhaps it’s time to go back to basics. Receive the graces so readily available from the Lord. Perhaps Jesus is calling you today. Come and stay with us

(Today’s OXYGEN by Geraldine Nah)

Prayer: Lord, we have received so abundantly from you. Please show us concretely how we can give from what we have received. May You use us each day to re-establish your church.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for your fatherly love. Thank you for giving us so abundantly and unreservedly.

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