Saturday of the 5th Week of Easter
May 24, 2014 8:30am
There are some interesting phrases in today’s first reading.
The passage says that Paul and Barnabas were “prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching in the province of Asia.”
And then it says, “They tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.”
In a way, these are strange phrases to read in Scripture.
Usually we talk about the Spirit of God calling us to do certain good works.
But, in the course of life, the Spirit of God also calls us not to do certain things – things that are hurtful and irresponsible.
For example, the Spirit of Jesus tries to hold us back from responding hurtfully to the hurtful words or actions of another, maybe by reminding us that this will lead to no good and just make things worse.
The Spirit of Jesus tries to keep us from ignoring someone in need, maybe through feelings of guilt.
The Spirit of Jesus moves us not to always put ourselves and desires ahead of the greater good or the common good of all, maybe by keeping us aware that we are all human with similar needs and aspirations in life.
So, no question, the Holy Spirit calls us to respond to God’s calling and to use God’s gifts and to positively do good things.
But the Spirit also puts on the brakes and prevents us at times from doing things that do not express well or at all the way of Jesus.