“[Lydia] said ‘come and stay with us’ and she would take no refusal.”


Monday, 18 May 2020

Acts 6:11-15; Psalm 149:1-6,9; John 15:26-16:4

Lydia is one of those attractive figures in scripture that I would like to read more of – she is clearly what some people call “a character”. She is a wheeler and dealer, a boss figure, someone who does not take no as an answer. Her enthusiasm is contagious.

Where do we encounter such enthusiasm today?

Do we encounter it in the Church? Perhaps. In the environmental movement? Certainly. Linking the two I am struck by the great enthusiasm we find in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, a document five years old this week and still calling us enthusiastically to reimagine our relationship to the earth.

At this time, in particular, we see the relevance of Laudato SI’. We are faced with a global health crisis that has effectively crippled our global economy, our way of proceeding as we have. If we are to get out of it, apart from finding a cure for coronavirus we need to use our enforced sabbatical from business as usual – a business that is often hostile to the environment – to rethink how we live.

Lydia, confronted by the gospel, proclaimed, embraced what was new and encouraged Paul to stay with her to see how to put her new faith into practice. Perhaps, as we sit in enforced lockdown, we can read Laudato Si’ again. And see how we can apply Pope Francis’ enthusiasm for the earth to our lives.


Grant us the enthusiasm driven by your Spirit to see new situations as an opportunity for growth in new, greener directions through Christ our Lord.


Fr Anthony Egan SJ

Fr Anthony Egan SJ (born Cape Town 1966; entered the Jesuits 1990; ordained 2002) has taught, full-time or part-time, at St Augustine College of South Africa, St John Vianney Seminary, Fordham University (on sabbatical) and the University of the Witwatersrand. The author/co-author of a number of books, book chapters, academic and popular articles, he is a correspondent for America magazine, a contributor to Worldwide and writes for spotlight.africa. He is also a commentator on local and international radio and television. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Helen Suzman Foundation. Extramural interests include Science Fiction, Theatre, Art and creative writing, including poetry.

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