Acts 16:11-15 Reflection:
Today we enter the famous ‘we’ passages of the Acts. This is the place in the book where Paul appears to be accompanied by the writer and this section contains great detail of movements and people spoken with. For example, today's part reads, ‘Sailing from Troas we made a straight run for Samothrace; the next day for Neapolis, and from there for Philippi, a Roman colony and the principal city of that particular district of Macedonia.’
It certainly appears that it is being written from someone who was there. The scriptures are full of such wee quirks and they leave us that we are not quite sure what is going on. But we have to be careful not to get too caught up in these minor details but to look at what is really being taught.
We are also introduced today to a woman called Lydia who was in the purple dye trade. The way the author speaks of her is beautiful. “She listened to us, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying.” Here we have the Lord taking the initiative, he opened her heart, but Lydia, like the rest of us, has to allow God to work in us and has to be open to the word when she hears it.
John’s gospel tells us how we prepare ourselves to believe the word of God. In it he says that those people who had never heard of Jesus but who have lived lives in accordance with their consciences and obeyed the natural law, will recognize the truth about Jesus when they hear it.
It is still the same people today who turn to Jesus, those of an open heart and open mind with the natural disposition to do the will of God. And there shall always be people who listen to God, because we are made to be filled with joy when we hear his Word.