Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter
The first reading continues our progress through the Acts of the Apostles. In these last verses of chapter 18, three new individuals are mentioned. They are the somewhat mysterious Apollos and the couple Priscilla and Aquila.
Apollos is Jewish, but he was born in Alexandria, Egypt. This city was a lot like Athens, with famous schools and respected scholars. The Jewish portion of the population was rather large. It included scholars who studied the Hebrew Scriptures. They were renowned for finding allegorical references to the coming of the Messiah.
What is interesting about Apollos is though he “spoke and taught accurately about Jesus,” he had only experienced the baptism of John the Baptist. The couple, Priscilla and Aquila, notice that his teaching is not complete, so they “took him aside and explained to him the Way more accurately.”
What a wonderful and intriguing picture of the early Christians. They were still growing in their self-understanding. Important decisions were being made about the life of the community. Sacraments were being experienced. Church structures were beginning to take shape. Preaching, especially using the Hebrew sacred writings, was becoming an important part of the Christian experience.
Apollos had great talent, but he needed others to prepare him for baptism. Priscilla and Aquila as a couple were well known; they are mentioned at least six times in the New Testament. Here they are helping and supporting Apollos, teaching this great scholar.
All Christians are called to help one another. We may not be scholars like Apollos. We may not be as well known as some of the early Christians. But we are called to support and encourage one another.
Reflection by Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB