We continue to read that “Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying” (Acts 16:14). She received the gift of faith and spiritual healing through communion with others. In recovery language, Lydia was “honest, open, and willing.” She was at Step 11, so to speak, “Seeking through prayer and meditation to improve her conscious contact with God.” Again, in a similar way, by keeping an open mind as we commune with others in recovery meetings we too can experience a deepening of faith and the assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we relate ourselves rightly to Him. Lydia then offers Paul an invitation to “come and stay at [her] home,” which perhaps signals her willingness to respond with hospitality and love to others having received God’s spirit. When others invite us into their lives to learn how to recover, heal, and carry the message of hope and freedom to others we are also empowered to then respond with love by inviting others into our lives with this same message of hope.
Let us recall today that God is present in our recovery meetings and that we are continually invited to seek these places of communion, fellowship, relief, healing, sobriety, abstinence, freedom, and prayer with a humble heart. For it is in our recovery meetings that we experience transformation, just as we read regarding Step One in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: “It was then discovered, that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another, the true nature of his malady that person could never be the same again.” Through our recovery meetings, God brings us to the people who bring us into deeper communion with Him in every moment of our lives.
- Is your heart open to the message to enter into and/or stay rooted in your recovery program? How can you practice listening to God speaking to you through others today?
- What is your experience of gathering with others in a “place of prayer,” be that in a recovery meeting, at your parish, or somewhere else?
Daily Mass Readings
First Reading: Acts 16:11-15
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b
Gospel: John 15:26—16:4a
Reflection by Marybeth B.