You Never Know Who Is Listening

Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church 

First Reading: Acts 16:11-15

We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace,
and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi,
a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.
We spent some time in that city.
On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river
where we thought there would be a place of prayer.
We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there.
One of them, a woman named 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.
After she and her household had been baptized,
she offered us an invitation,
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord,
come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B

R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.

Gospel: John 15:26—16:4A

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.”


may 2

I do not know about you, but I have a hard time dealing with people who say one thing and act another way. (Actually, I am sure you don’t like that either. Who would really?)

And while I tend to take the nonjudgmental route (maybe they are having a bad day, I don’t know what they do behind closed doors, etc), it can be fairly obvious when an individual consistently preaches this or that virtue or claims to have some moral high ground but does not actively practice his/her philosophies in real life. I tend to raise my eyebrows when I see behavior like that. And of course, I am not immune to occasional hypocrisy. But sometimes those people can get under my skin.

(End rant.)

But think about it the other way.

I think about the people who have had the biggest impact on my life and those who have inspired me to be a better person and you know what they have in common? They practice what they preach.

They are the people who go about their days living out the message of the Lord. They are kind in their words and deeds, they love unconditionally, they live out their faith. They inspire me.

You inspire me. I see your hearts and your faith when I talk to you and when I see how you talk with one another. I see your calls for prayer and the outpouring of support from this tremendous community. I see the love and compassion of true sisterhood.

And I want you to know that I am listening and I am watching. And you have changed my life and my heart for the better. You are sitting at the bank of the river, just proclaiming His word and being a true daughter of Christ. You are opening hearts to His message. And while we all may falter and fail at times, we must still remain faithful. For the Lord takes delight in His people.

That’s me. And that’s you too.

Keep going, sisters. Keep loving and inspiring and being here part of this beautiful community.

Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm is a wife, mom, and dentist currently living in the Bay Area, California. You can find out more about her here.

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