Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Acts 22:30 -23:11
St. Paul, an intellectual with a Jewish, Greek and Roman formation, had just ‘smoked’ both the Pharisees and the Saducees who were clamouring for his imprisonment and execution with a short two sentence speech. Because of the chaos he thus created in the council, ‘the tribune, fearing that they would tear Paul into pieces’ returned Paul to the Roman barracks to keep him safe. It was here that the Lord came to Paul and stood near him. How did the Lord counsel Paul? He did not say ‘Keep up your brilliant tactics’. Nor did he direct him to ‘Keep up the great discourse’. Instead, the Lord guided Paul to ‘Keep up your courage’. So, too, for followers of Jesus today facing bullying or outright persecution, we are told by the Lord, ‘Keep up your courage...’. It will not be with brilliant political tactics, nor our gift of words, but simply by our courage, kept up day by day through prayer and fasting, that we will be able to remain standing as followers, and witnesses, to the good news of Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, help me keep up my courage.
Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. (Psalm 16:1)
You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of Joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
King David of Israel. Psalm 16
Soli gloriam dei.
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.