Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter
The communion in the faith
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 … One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth …, 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. Acts 16,11-15
When some people went to Jesus to tell him that his brothers were looking for him, he, seeing his disciples which were with him and followed him from one place to another of
Palestine, replied: “These are my brothers!”. By this phrase Jesus did not behave to ignore his ties of blood (the word “brother” in Aramaic, a language poor of words, indicates also the relatives), but just to say that between brothers in faith the relationships are likely to be even tighter than those of the relative relationship itself. Moreover, if for a christian the most important time of the day – and it is – is that of the prayer, a strong bond is created among people who pray together, due to the feeling of being brothers in the faith and sons of the same heavenly Father. This is the feeling which, in the passage of today, was born spontaneously between the family of Lydia, a newly converted person to the gospel, and the community of Paul. It is a fellowship such as to ensure that all are invited to spontaneously go and live in his house. It is because of the strength of this bond that, even today, the families where, in addition to share the house and the daily bread, people pray together, the inside relationships are much more stable. We, too, in the past when we had young children, we have been invited, with affection and insistence, to spend the summer holidays at the home of brothers in the faith, which we met during prayer meetings. I still remember with joy the summers spent in the island of Pantelleria, in Sardinia, in Calabria, in Campania and in Liguria, at Bocca di Magra. Months full of sun, swim and prayer together. Even today, where the holidays with the rental van full of children are only a memory, when we return in our Florence, we are always guests of Maria Rosa, with whom since many years we share fraternal moments of prayer. There is not any other reality which can ensure an enduring union as the prayer together. When we see our married children cultivating also the habit of the family prayer, we feel peaceful and we thank the Lord for this gift of grace.