In her article “Surrendering to Uncertainty,” Ms. Heather Lanier concludes with a series of statements:
Ms. Lanier writes these lines in reference to caring for her young daughter who was born with special physical needs. These statements can also be applied to our national experience as many states lift orders to shelter in place. So unexpected were these few past months, that many have experienced new wisdom during the mandated exile, slowing down our normal hectic routine. May we in our prayer ask of God in this “now” normal:
The Book of Acts begins with the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples in the early days after the resurrection of Jesus – in Jerusalem. Although much of Jesus’s life and ministry was in Galilee, in the immediate time after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, the geographic focus in the book of Acts is Jerusalem. And yet, at its conclusion, the geographic focus has shifted to Rome. According to the evangelist Luke, the Holy Spirit has guided this relocation of the Church’s center from David’s Holy City to the center of the empire of Rome. In today’s reading, we see that Paul’s missionary activity is working its way north along the east side of the Mediterranean Sea and west along the northern side. In Paul’s dream, he is invited to Macedonia; and he changes his course in response to this dream.
The perception of the Holy Spirit moving the center of Church can also be applied to our own missionary discipleship. That which was the center of our understanding: our prayer, our ministry, our church worship at the start of this calendar year now has been thoroughly shaken. Can we perceive the work of the Holy Spirit?
In the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit!
~ Fr. Paul Deutsch, SJ, Jesuit High, Tampa