St. Paul had been flogged and jailed during his evangelization in Philippi. Then he was run out of town (Acts 16:39). Next, after some initial success in the cities of Thessalonica and Berea, he was again forced to leave town (Acts 17:6-10, 13-15). After that, Paul was escorted to Athens, the major city in Greece, where he had minimal success. Paul then arrived in Corinth "in weakness and fear, and with much trepidation" (1 Cor 2:3). Corinth was a rough-and-tumble, immoral, pagan city, even somewhat dangerous. After being poorly treated in "gentler" cities, Paul had little earthly reason to expect much evangelistic success in Corinth.
Yet upon entering Corinth, God opened door after door for Paul. First, Paul found not only a job and lodgings, but business co-workers and prayer-partners in Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:2-3). "Many of the Corinthians, too, who heard Paul believed and were baptized" (Acts 18:8). God even personally told Paul that there were many of his people in Corinth, and assured him that he would not be attacked or harmed while in Corinth (Acts 18:9-10). God had prepared a city for Paul (Heb 11:16), the city of Corinth.
Tomorrow begins the Pentecost Novena, the nine days of prayer to prepare to receive the Holy Spirit more deeply at Pentecost. As you prepare for the Holy Spirit, be aware that God is surely preparing as well. Could the Lord be preparing a city or town for you this Pentecost? Let Him prepare your heart for it.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2011 through July 31, 2011.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011.