Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
Oh good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Separated from You, may I never be.
From the evil one, protect me.
At the hour of my death, call me.
Close to you, bid me.
So that with your angels and saints I may be praising You forever and ever, Amen.
A reflection on today’s Sacred Scripture:
“What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30).
I just sat down with a cup of tea to write this meditation when I noticed a message on the tea bag label: “Your choices will change the world.”
In his mission to the ends of the earth, St. Paul frequently made choices that changed the world around him and that continue to change our world today. In fact, in today’s First Reading in Acts, I can count five occasions where St. Paul chose to stay faithful to his mission, despite the bleak conditions around him.
Instead of giving in to hopelessness or escaping when he had the chance, St. Paul used his grim prison experience to advance his mission. He stayed behind, not only to keep the jailer from taking his own life, but to help influence the jailer’s eternal life, with the Word of God and the Sacrament of Baptism. St. Paul didn’t think twice about his own needs because of his resolve to preach the Gospel to every soul in need of healing.
God rescued St. Paul time and time again simply because he chose to be faithful in the face of his physical and emotional sufferings. This must be our choice as well, for we find favor with God when, instead of running away or despairing in our own trials, we go on with a hopeful approach. Like St. Paul who, after being stripped, beaten and imprisoned, chose to pray and sing hymns to God while staked to his prison cell, we must trust that when we call to the Lord, He will answer us and build up strength within us.
The Lord completes what He has done for us through our own mission to the world. He saves us so that we too may share the message St. Paul declared to his jailer in Philippi: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
This verse in the Book of Acts brings an image to my mind of a street activist holding a sign with these words scrawled across it — a scenario many would turn away from. But those who heard St. Peter’s speech at Pentecost were “cut to the heart by it,” and that day, three thousand were baptized and received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
How many of us were “cut to the heart” these past days of Lent and now seek forgiveness for our part in Christ’s death? Every one of us who has heard St. Peter’s message must also turn away from sin and allow the Holy Spirit to change us.
Here’s what the Catechism tells us about St. Peter’s message:
“Since Easter, the Holy Spirit has proved ‘the world wrong about sin,’ (cf John 19:21) i.e., proved that the world has not believed in Him whom the Father has sent. But this same Spirit who brings sin to light is also the Consoler who gives the human heart grace for repentance and conversion.” (Catechism, Paragraph 1433)
Indeed, we must save ourselves from this corrupt generation! Repentance points us toward the goodness in our lives – it points us to God. Since Jesus Himself said that baptism is necessary for our salvation, we too must become sharers in His mission and stand up for St. Peter’s message – it doesn’t matter where or how we do it, but it matters that we do.