Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Thurs of sixth week after Easter, May 13th. Acts 18:1-8. Psalm
98:1-2.3.3-4. John 16: 16-20.
Paul is now in Corinth where he meets Aquila and Priscilla who are
tentmakers, which happens to be his trade also; soon their friendship
develops. Most likely, both Aquila and Priscilla are already Christians.
They had to leave Rome because of an edict from Claudius in 44 A.D. forcing
all Jews and Jewish Christians to leave. We see that Paul is a very
outgoing person who does develop friendships. Sometimes people forget this
when reading his letters while not fully understanding the person of Paul.
Soon Paul is joined by two of his disciples and friends, Timothy and Silas.
Paul will be able to preach on the Sabbath in the synagogues and he does so
boldly but without success. Only Titus Justus and Crispus who is a leader
in the synagogue joins Paul through Crispus’ belief in the Gospel. He is
baptized with his whole household. Paul’s preaching that Jesus was the
Messiah is what caused him trouble. He therefore makes a firm decision to
go to the Gentiles and bring them the news about Jesus’ victory over death.
He will spend six months teaching in Corinth.
Psalm 98 and Psalm 67 are good responses to Paul’s turning toward the
Gentiles. These Psalms invite the nations to join in the worship of God in
the Temple. Like Isaiah II and Isaiah III there is a universal call to all
peoples to worship God. Our response from verse 2 demonstrates this: “The
Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.” Such universality
shows us the plan of God at work. The symbol for this is God’s
outstretched arm. This brings about hope as we again and again learn of
the covenant of God with all of us through his mercy and faithfulness.
Jesus tells his disciples to be prepared for his imminent departure.
“Within a short time you will lose sight of me.” He is helping them to
understand what it will mean to continue on when he is not there bodily
with them. We find the passage helpful during those tragic events of a loss
of a parent, a friend. or a relative. Only Jesus can help us to understand
they are no longer with us. He still instills hope in us, “your grief will
be turned into joy..” Jesus has spoken about “this little while and you
will not see me” seven times within his last discourse and priestly prayer.
St. Thomas Aquinas writes that Jesus is more concerned about them, his
disciples, than he is about himself. Amen. Alleluia.