not as expected
"On one occasion, while they were engaged in the liturgy of the Lord and were fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke to them." —Acts 13:2
While the church of Antioch was worshiping God and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke to them: "Set apart Barnabas and Saul for Me to do the work for which I have called them" (Acts 13:2). So "they imposed hands on them and sent them off" (Acts 13:3).
Although the church of Antioch knew God's plan in general, they were in for many surprises:
- Paul emerged as the leader of the first missionary team rather than Barnabas, the original leader.
- Mark quit the first mission almost from the start (Acts 13:13).
- The mission was much more difficult than expected (see Acts 14:22) in that riots broke out in most towns they visited.
- During the mission, Paul was either murdered and then raised from the dead or knocked unconscious and miraculously healed (Acts 14:19-20).
The first missionary journey was successful in that God "had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles" (Acts 14:27), and "in each church they installed presbyters" (Acts 14:23). However, the mission certainly did not go as planned. This may encourage us, for we also have been sent by the Spirit on mission. Many of us are likewise upset, because things haven't turned out as we expected. We likewise must trust the Lord and persevere in our mission.
Prayer: Father, when You don't meet my expectations, may I meet Yours.
Promise: "Whoever puts faith in Me believes not so much in Me as in Him Who sent Me." —Jn 12:44
Praise: Facing defeat and continuing opposition, St. Louis persevered in his mission to the poor and sick.
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.