Departure, truth and protection strike me as the sum of the messages in today’s readings. In the Book of Acts, Paul is leaving Ephesus and in the Gospel Christ is praying to the Father in anticipation of his leaving and returning to the Him. Paul warns the community in Ephesus that the danger of “perverting the truth” can come as easily internally from the Christian community as well as from the external world. He exhorts the community to God’s gracious word.
In the Gospel, I am reminded more than once that I “do not belong to the world“ but to Christ and his kingdom. The fact for me is that I am going to be challenged by the world as an adherent to the truth Christ proclaimed. As I grow spiritually I am beginning to better understand just how counter cultural my faith walk is. Walking in the word can be difficult at times. We are all called to go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel daily in our lives. In most cases we can accomplish this by our actions at home, work and in our communities. I constantly need to remind myself of this fact.
Despite the difficulties of trying to live the Gospel message in our secular world, I do not become discouraged. It is only a reminder about how fertile and full the field is for harvest. My task is to persevere in the truth and as Pope Francis reminds all of us, always act in love, have a kindness in our hearts and most importantly always keep mercy as a priority in life.