Tuesday of the Sixth Week of EasterActs
Acts 16:22-34, Psalm 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8, & John 16:5-11
Have you ever wondered what happened to the jail guard in our first reading from Acts? After witnessing some extraordinary events, the jailer guarding the imprisoned disciples is moved to conversion. He and his whole family became disciples. Did he and his family bring the Good News to others for the remainder of their lives? Regardless, this is how the conversion to Jesus' Spirit can work in all of us.
The jailer was a simple man living a routine life. He could have been a farmer, a shepherd, or even a carpenter. He was working to earn a living and provide for his family. I suspect that his job was quite dull. He would place prisoners into cells during any typical day as he did with Paul and Silas, feed them, check on them occasionally, and then take a nap.
In the middle of a natural disaster, an earthquake, the jailer became a witness to the good things occurring for those who already knew Jesus' loving presence even as they endured the personal disaster of, well, unfair imprisonment. After being initially riveted by fear the captives had fled in the night, the jailer's misdirected sorrow for himself became redirected toward the disciples as his newly open heart enabled him to hear and respond to their plea. Before that night's events, he felt half-dead already as his thoughts moved to suicide. He responded by asking the disciples how to receive life through Jesus.
Conversion means an inner turning. The jailer's sorrow was converted into a deep joy. His grief and despair were given a new life by relating it with Jesus' Spirit. May all of our sorrows be admitted and be placed in relationship with Jesus, who gives life, taking us to a place of healing and joy.
Question of the Day: As we approach the celebration of God's Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost, how will you remember to open yourself in readiness and not to be afraid knowing that you are never alone?
Prayer: "Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful. Enkindle within us the Fire of Your Love. Send forth Your Spirit, Lord, and we shall be recreated, and join You, in renewing the face of the earth." Amen.