Acts 17:15,22-18:1
John 16:12-15


There is a wonderful challenge and lifelong lesson in the readings today. When we think of Paul, he never strays from peaching the gospel. In this first reading he is alone, yet he is not daunted by other great minds but observes and reflects on what is around him. Jesus called it ‘reading the signs of the times’.

Paul obvious has reflected on the Greek culture and observed their practices and comments on their monuments. These he says are not the work of God but man – an attempt to understand the powers around them and those they seek to understand. The Epicureans believed that things happen by chance and the Stoics that everything was from God – a fiery spirit and what gives life is a tiny spark which when one dies returns to God. Paul respecting their stance then challenges through the altar to the Unknown God and through speaking of Jesus death and Resurrection it brings the unknown to be known and to be of God himself.

In this action we witness what unfold in John’s gospel – the principle of revelation which is a process like an approach with understanding mathematics you start with the easy and progress to the more difficult. God’s revelation continues and like the Universe itself, it is unfolding, revealing wonder and surprise but, always pointing to God’s spirit which is always active. This spirit we are asked to recognise is the continual opening of Jesus. There is always more he calls us to and more he reveals – it is not a smorgasbord that we grasp bit ‘bytes’ like a computer we see in moments God’s presence and action like when we serve, share ourselves, love another, being kind and showing mercy. Through each action the spirit of God shows us his divine mercy and guides us home.

What we are slow on is believing that Jesus’ call is as simple as these actions are yet they create wonder moments where we experience the divine – God incarnate – Emmanuel.

Paul Traynor is married to Clare and has two children Sam and Lucy. He lives in Greytown which is in the Wairarapa Region on the North Island of New Zealand. Paul is currently working as the National Passionist Family Groups Coordinator for Aotearoa, New Zealand.