The Word Among Us

Mass Reading & Meditation for May 25, 2022 View another date

Meditation: Acts 17:15, 22–18:1

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Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)

Entrance Antiphon

In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth,
and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding
and clothed him in a robe of glory, alleluia. Cf. Sir 15:5
OR
The mouth of the just man utters wisdom,
and his tongue tells forth what is just;
the law...

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Daily Meditation: Acts 17:15, 22–18:1

But some did join him, and became believers. (Acts 17:34

The Athenians were more than curious about Paul’s “strange notions” (Acts 17:20). So they invited him to speak before the Areopagus, a group of Athenian leaders and thinkers who took their name from the small hill northwest of the city where they met.

Paul’s speech was a masterful example of how to reach out to people of different faiths and worldviews. He began not by refuting the beliefs of the Athenians but by acknowledging them. In fact, he told those gathered that day that they were “very religious” (Acts 17:22). Still, he didn’t convince many of the people. They just couldn’t fathom how anyone, especially a Jewish carpenter, could rise from the dead.

We might think that Paul went away frustrated and discouraged. Yet his preaching was not in vain—“some did join him” (Acts 17:34). And it probably didn’t end there. One of the new believers was Dionysius, a member of the Court of the Areopagus, who probably had an outsized influence in the city. Who knows how many other people came to know Jesus through him and the others who were converted that day?

This is what is sometimes called “spiritual multiplication.” When one person turns to Jesus because you have shared your faith with them, there’s a good chance that they will then share their faith with another person, and so forth. From one conversion, many more will come.

That’s why you should never underestimate the impact you can have when you introduce someone to Jesus or bring someone further along in their walk with the Lord. You may see your influence extending only to one person, but that’s not the end of the story. You probably won’t know the end of the story until you reach heaven! But based on the multiplier effect, it’s probably more than you might ever imagine.

So don’t get discouraged if you don’t see much fruit coming from your efforts to share the good news. Paul didn’t—he just did what God was asking of him and let the Lord take care of the rest. And that’s what we can do too!

“Jesus, may my efforts to preach the good news bear fruit, even when I can’t see it.”

Psalm 148:1-2, 11-14
John 16:12-15

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