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Saturday, May 24, 2014

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Acts 16:1-10
Psalm 100:1-3, 5
John 15:18-21

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the missing piece

"Come over to Macedonia and help us." —Acts 16:9

Today begins the "we" section of the Acts of the Apostles. When Paul and his companions were prevented from going to Asia and Bithynia, Luke, the author of Acts, uses the pronoun "they" (Acts 16:6, 7). Then "they came down to Troas" (Acts 16:8). The missionaries were encountering closed doors and were seemingly wandering about aimlessly.

At Troas, "Paul had a vision" (Acts 16:9). There the team found the open door, leading to Macedonia. In Troas, they suddenly received vision, discernment, and direction (Acts 16:10). What made the difference?

In Troas, Luke joined the missionary team. Notice that the pronoun "we" is used beginning in Acts 16:10 and continuing throughout a good portion of the rest of Acts. Before Luke arrived, the mission was floundering. After Luke arrived, the door was opened to bring the gospel to Europe for the first time.

Luke is never mentioned in Acts as performing any noteworthy service. He is simply "with" Paul (see 2 Tm 4:11). Luke quietly used his spiritual and natural gifts, and that led to an open door. Luke was chosen by God to play this role (see Jn 15:19).

How about you? Are you a Luke? Is there a ministry, community, or vocation for which you are the missing piece? Pentecost is rapidly approaching. Pray diligently for docility to the Holy Spirit and discernment in all the areas of your life. May "the Spirit of Jesus" (Acts 16:7) fix you "like a peg in a sure spot" (Is 22:23).

Prayer:  Father, thank You for preparing a life of good deeds for me in advance (Eph 2:10). May I joyfully complete all of them.

Promise:  "I chose you out of the world." —Jn 15:19

Praise:  For years, Mary tried to be a good person and do good works, but it wasn't until the Holy Spirit touched her heart and showed her Jesus as Savior that she had empowerment beyond imagining.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 30, 2013

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