Jesus’ Life: Chapter 20 – Early Spread Of Gospel By the Disciples
The Holy Spirit continued to work through the Twelve Apostles and ever-increasing numbers of people joined them daily.
On the day of Pentecost they baptised “about three thousand people” and at the time of Peter and John’s arrest, those who “listened… came to about five thousand [men]”. (Acts 2:41; 4:4) Such huge numbers in such a short time inevitably increased their duties and responsibilities.
In addition to baptising the believers, the Apostles “devoted themselves to teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”. (Acts 2:42) Those who believed, “were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common”. (Acts 4:32)
People were not wanting, “because those who were owners of land or houses were selling them and bringing the proceeds from the sales and placing them at the apostles’ feet, and they were distributed to each according to need”. (Acts 4:34-35)
When the Apostles received a complaint from a group of widows who, “were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food,” the Twelve called together the disciples and, filled with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. But carefully select from among you… seven men who are well-attested, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this necessary task. [Then] we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word”. (Acts 6:1-4)
The suggestion was met with widespread agreement and they selected, “Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism from Antioch”. (Acts 6:5)
The Apostles then stood in front of them, prayed and laid hands on them. The seven became known as the first Seven Deacons of the Church. (Acts 6:1-7)
Pray that today’s Priests and Religious will seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in times of daily trial.
Lord Jesus, let the flame of your Sacred Heart burn from us all material desires and open our own hearts to the daily needs of others and the guidance of our Priests and Religious.
Prayer: Miracle Prayer
Lord, Jesus, I come before you, just as I am.
I repent of my sins, forgive me.
I give you my entire self.
I invite you into my life, Jesus.
I accept you as my Lord and Saviour.
Heal me, change me,
strengthen me in body, soul and spirit.
Cover me with your precious blood,
and fill me with your Holy Spirit,
I praise you, Jesus. I thank you, Jesus.