May 8, 2021

They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. (Acts 16:6-7)

Acts of the Apostles presents the marvelous way the Holy Spirit guided the early church’s life and activity ‒ in the preaching of the apostles, and the wonders worked in the name of the Lord Jesus the spread of the Gospel throughout the ancient world. As we read Luke’s account, we see the Spirit opening doors for the church, most notably in the outreach to the Gentiles, and at times closing them, as in today’s passage. Why would this be?

The Holy Spirit reads the mind and heart and sees things as God sees them, not as we do. Two things can be especially operative in why the Spirit closes a door. It may not be the “right time,” the proper moment to act on an intuition. Or there may be something else that has higher priority or urgency in God’s plan. Ultimately, it is about fulfilling God’s will in God’s time!

In 1865, Saint Peter Julian Eymard envisioned a bold project for his young Congregation: transforming the Cenacle in Jerusalem, where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper and instituted the memorial of his death and resurrection, into a center of prayer and spirituality. What better place for Blessed Sacrament Religious to be present than in the upper room, origin of the Eucharist, and the church’s universal mission! It was not to be.

Instead, God sowed in Eymard’s heart the grace of the “gift of self,” a complete union with Christ in his self-giving and the fruit of an integrated Eucharistic life. Has God closed a door in your life and caused something else to emerge?

Let us pray:

Lead me, God, to know your will and to do it only as you desire. Amen.


charistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Anthony Schueller, SSS

Father Anthony Schueller was the Provincial Superior of the Province of Saint Ann of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the editor of Emmanuel.