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Saturday, May 26, 2012

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St. Philip Neri
Pentecost Novena - Day 9


Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
Psalm 11:4-5, 7
John 21:20-25

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"Upon our entry into Rome Paul was allowed to take a lodging of his own, although a soldier was assigned to keep guard over him." —Acts 28:16

Paul was a traveling man. To take the Gospel to the nations, he had traveled almost constantly for years (2 Cor 11:26). He had plans to go to Spain to extend the outreach of the Gospel even farther (Rm 15:24). However, Paul never made it to Spain, and his traveling was abruptly stopped as he sat in jail at Caesarea for two years (Acts 24:27). Then he spent two more years under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:16, 30).

Paul must have felt frustrated by his confinement, but he continued to proclaim the Word to those who visited him in his imprisonment. Although some believed, many didn't (Acts 28:24). Paul probably felt that he was accomplishing nothing in Rome. However, he was faithful to his mission of proclaiming the Gospel in good times and in bad (2 Tm 4:2).

Eventually, Paul was martyred in Rome. Then others preached and pastored in Rome, cultivating the seeds of faith which Paul had planted. Many others were then martyred in Rome. The Roman church became the leading church in the world. Paul's frustrating work under house arrest bore great fruit for God's kingdom.

On this last day of the Pentecost novena, pray for faith to persevere in the most frustrating ministries, marriages, families, and churches. Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, by the Spirit, may I walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).

Promise:  "With full assurance, and without any hindrance whatever, he preached the reign of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ." —Acts 28:31

Praise:  St. Philip is said to have edified all Rome from his confessional.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011

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