Skip to main content

Of Substance and Reality


“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Our Readings today (Acts 18:23-28 & John 16:23-28) remind us that the cultivation of faith is a lifetime journey, unpredictable and quite immeasurable by the typical quantitative metrics that our results-obsessed society has become so familiar and comfortable with.

Interestingly enough we last pondered this notion in late July in on the Feast Day of Saint Martha “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world” said Martha, a fact she testified to long before Jesus’ death and resurrection. Nonetheless it took Martha time to encounter Jesus fully and richly, as it does for each of us. God’s revelation in Martha’s life opened the door to her prominent role in the early stages of our Church’s History. Today we will look at a few of the lesser known albeit important characters who did the same.

In our 1st Reading (Acts 18:23-28) we encounter a Jewish man named Apollos, of whom Scripture tells us is a native of Alexandria and quite an eloquent speaker. On this particular day we look in on him as he is speaking solely about the baptism of John, for as we will soon find out, this was all he knew in matters pertaining to the Way of God. It was then that both Priscilla and Aquila took him aside so that they could enlighten him in ways that were fuller and richer. Apollo’s took full advantage of this lesson and would go on to be a great early disciple of the church, evangelizing throughout Achaea and the neighboring territories.

Apollos’ story shows us what can happen when one possesses an ardent desire to learn and grow in their knowledge of Jesus, displays true humility in the process, and then pairs those virtues with their God-given ability, in the case of Apollos his oratory acumen. Scripture tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). This same passage in Hebrews goes in to explain that “faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.”

The power of God is real, and believing makes the power of God a reality to us. It makes His reality our reality. God is all around us. His power is present every moment of every day. His reality is tangible to those who grow in the gift of discernment ~ His power is real ~ whether we sense it or not. The older I get, the more I come to realize that “feelings“ are a bit overrated. Important yes, but certainly not the be-all-end-all that we at times make them out to be.

We must say yes to this reality every day. Some days we simply don’t feel like it. We are after all rebellious by nature, the fallen state that we are all born into. As we find ourselves on the precipice of Pentecost, let us pray with increased devotion and fervor for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, gifts that God Father yearns to lavish upon all who simply ask for them.

Scroll to Continue

And let’s remember too they every day is a journey in and of itself . . . the journey home.


Anand from Pune, Maharashtra on May 18, 2021:


Related Articles