Acts 16:11-15, Ps 149:1b-2.3-4.5-6a.9bc (R.4a) Accl John 15:26b.27a, Gospel John 15:26-16:4a

There in Philippi, Paul ministered to the group of the women who had come to pray. One of them, Lydia, was already a devout worshiper of God, but yet to be to be baptised. Her case has a light to shed on our pre-baptismal experience. According to Peter, “baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.” 1 Peter 3:21-122. Baptism makes meaning when the baptised had already opened themselves to the call of God. The catechumen are expected to predispose themselves to the life of grace. If the baptism rites are performed on empty head; on one who has no place for Christ in his heart, it will bear fruit for eternal life. Grace builds on nature. All parents God’s parents are expected equally to open the treasure of God life to their children as they grow.

Moreover, medical experts always warn that old people and those with underlying sicknesses are at the risk of contracting and not surviving the present Corona virus scourge. On the other hand, those with good immune system can stand it and survive easily. Good disposition is an added advantage in exercising the life of grace. God opened the heart of Lydia to listen to what was said by Paul, and after her baptism she began to practice the virtue of hospitality. God makes use of the space we give him. And the space we give him in our hearts will determine our capacity to cooperate with the prompting of his spirit without which we cannot survive the ups and downs of the Christian life.

The joy of the baptised comes from the power of the resurrected Christ. The victory he has won for us gives us the assurance that in the midst of our earthly tribulations, that, history is leading us somewhere. The Lord said,

                 “when the counsellor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the truth of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning. I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.”

In this time of pandemic, we are already been pushed out of the synagogue amidst Corona lies. Any other gathering can resume, but the church should wait. The time is already looking at us in the face. People must eat, but the economy is going down, yet people must survive without compromising their Christians values. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to sail through.

May the Lord continue to bless us with the gift of his presence. May we open our hearts to receive more of his guidance and we remain comforted in the midst of the present plague.

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