First Reading: Acts 16:22-34
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 138
Gospel: John 16:5-11
About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, “Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.” He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.” So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house. He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once. He brought them up into his house and provided a meal and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God. (Acts 16:25-34)
Whenever I read a story about someone who has committed suicide, I always find it so tragic that that person felt that there was no other option in their life. It seems to me that in these situations, the people who do these acts seemed to have either lost hope completely or they had never found hope in their lives. In the first reading today, we see after the earthquake, the jailer thought that his life was doomed and that there was no other option than for him to take his own life. However, by God's grace, Paul stepped in to give the jailer the hope that he so desperately needed. By giving him the hope that is found in Christ the jailer had an immediate conversion and him and his whole household that night came to believe and be baptized. What a glorious site this must have been and all because Paul and Silas chose to share the hope that is found in Christ with the jailer. I guess that you could say that Paul and Silas were kind of like "Ambassadors of Hope" in this instance.
I think that this is what we are called to be, Ambassadors of Hope. We are all called to first live out our faith in Christ in all that we do in our life. Paul and Silas had no trouble doing this; they were eager to share and display their joy at all times ... even in prison! When they were first thrown in prison, they did not sulk or whine, but rather they chose to use that as an opportunity to praise God, sing hymns, and share the hope found in Christ with the other prisoners. When they had the chance to share the hope of Christ with the jailer, they didn't hold a grudge against the person who was holding them captive, they wanted everyone to believe in the name of Jesus. We too should want to share who Jesus is, what He means to us and the great hope that is found only in Him. Most of us have heaven as our goal, but how cool would it be to share that same goal with everyone around us? Paul and Silas were not afraid to share this goal with anyone, even some of the most hostile people towards them. We too should try and cast away our fears and share our faith in God with all those that we have the opportunity.
We are each called by God to be Ambassadors of Hope, and this starts by how we live our life and our example to others. May the Lord bless each of us with the courage and strength to go out and spread the good news!
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you and thank you for all that you have blessed us with and all that you do. Lord, you are our good God who loves us so much. Thank you for all that you have blessed us with in our life, thank you for all that you do. We are not worthy of all that you give to us, but you choose to freely bless us each and every day. Help us to never stray from your ways and to always be faithful servants to you. We pray for all of our youth, that they can come to know their own dignity and the gift of their lives. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.