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Saturday, May 19, 2001

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

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crossing the threshold of pain

"There was a disciple named Timothy, whose mother was Jewish and a believer, and whose father was a Greek. Since the brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him, Paul was anxious to have him come along on the journey." —Acts 16:1-3

Paul, with the experience of one mission journey, planned to show Timothy the ropes of discipleship and mission work. First, "Paul had him circumcised" (Acts 16:3). This may have been a harbinger to Timothy that working for Jesus was going to be painful. This proved true as Timothy suffered persecution, arrest, and rejection. When Timothy served as the pastor of the church of Ephesus, he was "at the end of his rope." Life seemed to have crossed the threshold of Timothy's tolerance of pain. Paul retorted to Timothy: "I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God bestowed when my hands were laid on you. The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly Spirit, but rather One that makes us strong, loving, and wise" (2 Tm 1:6-7). Paul added: "Bear your share of the hardship which the gospel entails" (2 Tm 1:8).

Some of you are in pain — even great pain. You didn't think that the cross would hurt so much. "You find that the world hates you" (Jn 15:18). You are broken-hearted. But, although you may not feel it, Jesus is close to you (Ps 34:19). Come to Him if you are burdened (Mt 11:28). "Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you" (1 Pt 5:7). Jesus will baptize you in the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8), in pain (Mk 10:38), in love (see 1 Jn 4:16), and in joy (see Col 1:24; 1 Pt 4:13).

Prayer:  Father, may my pain be due to my love for You.

Promise:  "Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful song." —Ps 100:1-2

Praise:  Josephine visits the elderly nearly every week, bringing them the love of Jesus.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2000