|Ruins of Philippi today.|
The context of this narrative teaches us that acceptance of the Word of God has significant consequences not only for our personal lives but also for the life of the world. Paul had gone to Philippi at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. By his preaching the Word there and its acceptance by Lydia and her household, the Gospel put down roots in Europe for the first time. It was the beginning of a wondrous history that over the ensuing centuries transformed a continent and eventually the world. Neither Paul nor Lydia could have foreseen all of that. God, however, did. I am reminded of the teaching of St. John Paul II, who often said that, "in the designs of Providence, there are no mere coincidences." The meeting of Paul and Lydia may have been experienced as a chance encounter. Not so. It was part of the mysterious unfolding of God's plan for both Lydia and the world.
|Site where Lydia was supposed to have been baptized.|