April 13, 2016 Wednesday: Saint Martin I, Pope and Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. (Acts 8:4)
Watch a pot of boiling water, and you’ll see the simple act of steam rising above it. But so much is going on behind the scenes that it really is a marvel. As they approach boiling temperature, the water molecules begin moving so rapidly that they separate from each other and rise into the air. The water doesn’t disappear—it just disperses.
By analogy, we can see what happened to the Christians in Jerusalem as a similar change of state. The persecution that arose against them heated things up, and as a result, many of them were “scattered” throughout the Mediterranean (Acts 8:4). You could say, then, that the Lord used the evil that had been intended to destroy the Church as a catalyst to make it spread farther. It was a result that no doubt surprised the persecutors—and probably those who were being persecuted as well!
God wants to surprise us, too. He wants to bring good out of whatever challenging situations we face. He wants us to know that those situations that get uncomfortably “hot” for us don’t have to destroy us. Instead, they can help us grow. As St. Paul said, they can build our endurance, which builds our character, which in turn builds our hope (Romans 5:3-4). And with stronger hope, we become stronger witnesses—the same thing that happened to the first disciples.
What are you experiencing today that raises your temperature? It could be as simple as a long line at the grocery store or a glitch that slows down your Internet connection. Or it could be something much worse, like an ongoing conflict with a family member or a financial dilemma that brings you to your knees. Whatever it is, know that no matter how “hot” things become, if you stay close to the Lord, the heat won’t consume you. You’ll still be there, only different. Like steam hovering over a boiling pot, you may feel lighter. And like steam, you may find yourself willing to spread the warmth of God’s love to the people around you.
“Father, I trust in you! When situations challenge me, help me to remember that you will never abandon me.”
Word Anong Us, www.wau.org