Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, "Do no harm to yourself; we are all here." He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved."

It would have been easy for Paul and Silas to run away after the doors to their cells were opened and their chains broken, but they didn't leave. We might wonder, "Why?" Perhaps the Holy Spirit gave them the courage to remain in spite of the dangers. Maybe in their hearts they knew the jailer would be in even greater danger if they left and so they choose to stay for his sake. In this way, they showed compassion and love for someone who was in every sense of the word an "enemy." But Jesus taught his followers to love their enemies and the jailer's conversion shows us why… by loving our enemies, we offer them an opportunity to be converted and saved. If we run away from non-believers or persecutors, we won't have a chance to change their minds.

Are we running away from our enemies or those who might benefit from a show of compassion and love? How can we be there for those in need of conversion? What can we do to change the minds of our enemies so they can come into the light of the faith?

O Lord, help us to be there for others as they walk the road to deeper conversion.


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