Our Lady of the Way
Acts 16: 1-10
Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.
They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.
During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
On Mission With Mary
Today is the Jesuit feast of Our Lady of the Way. Roman devotion to Mary under this title (Madonna della Strada) goes back to a 5th century travelers’ shrine erected in Rome. A small Roman church with a plaster image of Our Lady of the Way was built in the late 14th century. It is here that St. Ignatius Loyola went often to pray. During his years as the first general superior of the Jesuits, he regularly prayed there with and for Jesuits about to be sent on mission to the far corners of the world. The current Jesuit Church of the Gesu was built on the same spot. This special devotion to Mary animates Jesuits to this day, wherever they find themselves “on mission.”
Today’s reading from Acts of the Apostles relates the ongoing missionary journeys of St. Paul, this time with Timothy. The mission outreach of the Church down through the ages encompasses the myriad ways the gospel of Jesus has been preached and practiced. Our individual baptism enrolls us in this missionary enterprise. In large and small ways, by word and example, we help the gospel become alive in our interactions with others. Under Mary’s protection we continue the work of Jesus; with her example we find strength to “do whatever he tells you.” Our Lady of the Way, pray for us!
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Holy Mary, mother of Jesus, guide our steps on the often wild and rugged journey of life. When our days here come to the end, be for us the door of heaven, and bring us home to Jesus, our Savior and Lord. Amen.