Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: May 14. Lectionary # 295. Acts 18:9-18. Psalm 47:2-3. John
Meet a new believer today. His name is Apollos and he will become
part of Paul’s team which keeps growing. He joins Aquila and Priscilla,
converted Jews who were exiled from Rome under Claudius’ decree of
banishment for Jews and Christians who were lumped together by the Romans.
The newcomer Apollos has a Greek name which goes back to the god of light,
healing, music, poetry, prophecy, and beauty. Both Greeks and Romans
venerated this god. Our friend Apollos is an Alexandrian Jew who heard
about Jesus and learned much about him. Aquila, Priscilla, and Paul will
fill in any of his gaps. He is very learned and bright and knows their
Scriptures so well that he becomes an eloquent speaker of the Hebrew Bible
now already translated into the Greek language that he uses. These converts
are already becoming leaders in the newly emerging communities that the
apostles Paul and Peter, Philip and John and James have or are founding.
Luke in our passage gives us a thumbnail sketch of this important figure.
He tells us he is an excellent speaker, an authority on the Scriptures
(Hebrew Bible or Tanakh)., and that he boldy professes to his listeners
that Jesus is the Messiah. Paul’s other new friends, the tentmaking couple
Aquila and Priscilla, will fill in what they know about the Gospel and
Jesus. He will even be more effective because of their presence in his
life. It could be that he would even be one of the inspired writers of the
New Testament, for example, the epistle to the Hebrews may have been his
work. This was the opinion of Fr. Ceslas Spicq, O.P. who was the expert on
the Epistle to the Hebrews at the time of the Vatican II Council and even
before that meeting of all the bishops in the world. Incidentally, Martin
Luther also hazarded the guess that Apollos wrote the Epistle to the
Perhaps the message that can be drawn from our first reading is that
of being a part of a group of friends who can share their faith together.
This could be by bible study or by a prayer session in which the readings
for the coming Sunday are prayed and shared by each one in the group. One
does not need to be a theologian to do this nor a Scripture scholar. Faith
sharing is the work of the community of believers who wish to go deeper
into the mysteries of their faith and their knowledge of Jesus our Savior
and Friend. If this takes place in a parish, it is a blessing to have the
pastor and assistants and deacons present. This sharing ,no doubt, would
lead to better homilies and sermons on their part when the Sunday Masses
are celebrated. This probably gets us closer to what Paul and his
companions were doing than many other things that we do in the name of God.
Apollos is mentioned in the following sections of the New Testament: Acts
18:9-28; I Corinthians 1:12; 3:4-6, 22; 4:6; 16:12. Titus 3:13.