Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: April 29. Lectionary # 282. Acts 13:13-25. Psalm 89:
2-3.21-22.25,27. John 13:16-20.
Did Paul preach the Gospel as we know it from the four Evangelists? From
his own writings this is difficult to affirm, but in the Acts we learn that
he did preach what was the framework or outline of the Synoptic Gospels.
There is evidence of this in what Luke has Paul preaching in the
synagogues. His letters focus more on the needs of the communities that
are rapidly forming and need formation in the faith. There he will inform
them of Baptism, of the Eucharist, the names of Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit. He will speak of the end time and correct those who are behaving
immorally as we see in I Corinthians. He centers on Christ as Redeemer and
does proclaim the Paschal Mysteries of Christ’s suffering, death, and
It is Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, who does demonstrate that Paul
preached the Gospel. Luke may have been a companion of Paul and would have
heard him preach. Today’s reading captures the evangelizing spirit of Paul,
that is, he is preaching what is known from the Gospels. He starts with
the history of salvation and brings it to the time of Jesus. ” I have
found David son of Jesse to be a man after my own heart who will fulfill my
every wish. According to his promise, God has brought forth from this
man’s descendants, a savior for Israel. John heralded the coming of Jesus
by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. As
John’s career was coming to an end, he would say, ‘What you suppose me to
be I am not. Rather, look for the one who comes after me. I am not worthy
to unfasten the sandals on his feet.” In these words that Luke gives to
Paul, we have the outline of the Gospel–at least at its beginning stage.
Our Psalm confirms the speech of Paul by focusing on David and his lineage.
“I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him. That
myh hand may be always with him, and that my arm may make him strong.”
Jesus, in the selection from John, is with his disciples just before the
Passover and his own death. He tells his disicples, “I know the kind of
men I chose.” Paul will be chosen by the Risen Christ. Then the following
words of the Gospel for today shows us what happens when Paul says “yes”
and begins to witness to Jesus as we have him doing in the synagogue.
Jesus says, ” I solemnly assure you, he who accepts anyone I send accepts
me, and in accepting me accepts him who sent me.” Paul accepted Jesus and
not only wrote letters but also preached Jesus to the people who were both
Jewish and Gentile. We will be able to follow Paul and his preaching in
the remaining chapters of the Acts which focus entirely on Paul. Amen.