GOD IS INDEED FULL OF SURPRISES! [ACTS 16:11-15]
Do you realize how much God likes pouring out His Spirit on unlikely people? He chose Lydia, a prosperous business woman in Philippi, to be the first European Christian. What’s more, God chose Paul – who had once been a raging persecutor of Christians – to preach the Good News to her. The simple fact that Lydia and Paul even met took careful arranging by the Holy Spirit. Europe wasn’t even in Paul’s plans (Acts 16:6-12).
Even today, God continues to surprise. In the 1960s, Saint Pope John XXIII astonished the entire world when he convened an ecumenical council. Most people thought that “Good Pope John” would be a quiet, insignificant leader awaiting a more powerful and important pope. But the Church has not been the same since he opened it to a fresh breeze of the Holy Spirit.
Similarly, no one who knew Dorothy Day as a young woman in New York would have suspected that she would become a servant of the poor in the name of Christ. She was after all, deeply involved in atheist and socialist movements and seemed to have very little interest in religion. Yet today the Archdiocese of New York is promoting her cause for canonization.
God is indeed full of surprises! You can almost hear the Holy Spirit urging us, “Be alert, be open, for I may send you to share the Gospel with the least likely person. That teenager in your neighborhood with the purple hair, tattoos, and multiple earrings just may be my next Lydia. What would you say if I told you to share with him about Jesus?”
God longs to pour His Spirit into every heart, just as He did to Lydia. Are we alert to His movements? Let’s give Him the freedom to work in any way He chooses. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit for His heart and mind so that we might reach out to everyone around us.
Jakarta, 26 May 2014
A Christian Pilgrim