Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (Optional Memorial)
If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home. (Acts 16:15)
Imagine hearing a knock at your door. Outside you find an unexpected visitor—a friend asking to stay with you. How would you feel? It’s likely you would pause, do a quick mental inventory of the state of your home, gulp, and smile, saying, “Of course! Come on in.” It might be a bit humbling because your visitor will see your home in a much more intimate way—including the cobwebs and messy closets.
We see something similar in today’s first reading. Lydia was a Gentile who worshipped the God of the Jews, but she listened closely to Paul’s preaching and allowed her heart to be opened further—to Jesus. God’s love for her awakened a new level of trust and action. Suddenly, she not only had the courage to invite the apostles into her house, but she persisted in asking them to stay with her. She didn’t care that they might see her true self.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have Lydia’s freedom when it comes to Jesus—the freedom to invite him into your life? Not just to have tea in your clean, tidy living room, but to stay and see the messy closets and the cluttered countertops. But you can. The more confident in Jesus’ love you become, the more readily you will fling wide your doors to welcome him in.
You might have dusty corners that you avoid or try to hide from Jesus. Of course, you know that Jesus already knows everything about you, but you’d rather not face your messy spots. Long-standing hurts or fears, a troubled relationship that needs forgiveness, or bad habits like spending too much time on social media—you might be embarrassed by these and be reluctant to let God help you with them.
Don’t let your fear or pride stop you! Jesus always responds to our inner messes with love, mercy, and yes, a readiness to help. He is like that person who comes into your messy home and then happily lends you a hand.
So don’t worry about sharing those messy struggles with the Lord. Instead, let him help you clean them up, as any good friend would do.
“Jesus, I want to open my life more fully to you. Come, Lord, and stay with me.”
Psalm 149:1-6, 9
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