Following the example of Paul, may we use our own times of confinement in life to witness to our Christian faith.


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These readings—from the end of the Acts of the Apostles and from the end of the Gospel of John—were chosen for this Saturday before Pentecost because they wrap up the series of readings from Acts and John that we have been following during the weekdays all these seven weeks of the Easter season. Because that last page of Acts often gets overlooked, let’s make that our focus.

We find St. Paul under house arrest for a period of two years, during which time he witnesses to the truth of Jesus Christ to Jewish and Gentile visitors.

St. Paul made valuable use of his time, proclaiming the Gospel, teaching, and shepherding his people, even though confined to a temporary home under guard.

Following the example of Paul, may we use our own times of confinement in life to witness to our Christian faith. If sick at home or hospitalized, we can pray, or if too sick to pray, we can offer our suffering in union with the crucified One, an act which might be more powerful and spiritually efficacious than preaching to thousands. Perhaps we have experienced rejection and feel isolated from others. We may be experiencing a time of depression, or a time of grief from the loss of a loved one.

By letting the truth of the Holy Spirit speak through us, times of confinement can become opportunities to proclaim Jesus Christ, the risen Lord, following the example of St. Paul — even, in the tradition of St. Francis, if we don’t use words.

How we handle illness, harsh treatment or adversity can speak volumes in witnessing to Christ our Lord. Let none of us claim that our situation doesn’t allow us share our faith with a similar zeal.

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