Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter
We continue the readings from the Acts of the Apostles. St Paul left the cultured city of Athens, with its well-educated audience, and proceeded to the seaport of Corinth, notorious as a rough but busy town.
As a missionary apostle, Paul is developing a pattern. When he enters a city, he first seeks out fellow Jews. Here in Corinth, he meets a Jewish couple by the name of Aquila and Priscilla. This famous couple had been expelled from Rome because they were Jewish. St. Paul could identify with them because they shared a common trade: tentmaking.
His pattern was also to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath where he was often invited to preach and explain the sacred scriptures to the congregation. And how could he do anything except proclaim the Good News about God’s love manifest in the death and resurrection of Jesus!
Not surprisingly, he ran into opposition from some of the local Jews, although a synagogue official named Crispus accepted the gospel. As more and more Corinthians became believers in Jesus, Paul turned aside from the Jews to win the Gentiles. That was a significant change.
St. Paul became known as the Apostle of the Gentiles. He was a leader in the early Church helping the early Christians understand that God intended all peoples to be saved.
Paul’s urgency to spread the Gospel urged him to become “as a Greek with the Greeks, and as a Jew with the Jews.” He was not afraid of change.
Change can be hard. We experienced that with the pandemic. No matter how adaptable we may have thought ourselves to be, it was hard to cope with change. But the danger to our health and the health of others proved to be strong motivation. May St. Paul’s willingness to change inspires us to be open to whatever God has in mind for us.
Reflection by Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB