Acts 16: 11-15

We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.

A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Paying Attention

Choosing what we pay attention to may be the most important decisions we make.  The people and things we choose to see, listen to, and keep within our orbit shape who we are and, consequently, shape the community around us.

As my faith matures, I realize God calls me to pay attention to people and things that I’d sometimes rather ignore, like my homeless brother standing outside my car at a red light, the need to have a tough conversation with a student, or confronting my shortcomings as a father and husband.  However, as Lydia shows us in today’s first reading, God will open our heart and help guide our attention where it is needed.

Lydia’s response to St. Paul also shows us that well placed attention and sensitive listening welcomes people into community and serves God by creating loving relationships.

To what or to whom is God drawing your attention today?

—Nick Rennpage is a Theology teacher and the director of Adult Formation and Mission Integration at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy  


Grant me, O Lord, to see everything now with new eyes,
to discern and test the spirits
that help me read the signs of the times,
to relish the things that are yours, and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius.

—Pedro Arrupe, SJ

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