7th week in Easter Time, Thursday – 25th May 2023 – Acts 22,30; 23,6-11; Jn 17,20-26
Fulfilling the Promises
In the first reading, Paul, after his conversion, testified always for Jesus in Jerusalem. He began preaching in the Jewish synagogue whenever he entered a new city. Often some Jews and several Gentiles would believe in his preaching. Many times, he was misunderstood and attacked for bringing more Gentiles to conversion. When Paul’s life was in danger in Jerusalem, Jesus appeared to him in the temple and told him what to do (Acts 22,17-21). When Paul was discouraged in Corinth and contemplated going elsewhere, Jesus appeared to him and encouraged him to stay (Acts 18,9-10). Now, when he was certainly very much down in his ministry, Jesus appeared once again to encourage and instruct him. Indeed, this was a great assurance of Jesus’ everlasting presence, “I am with you always” and a sign of protection. Since it was not only the Lord’s wish, but Paul’s desire for months (Acts 19,21; Rom 15,22-29) that Paul needed to witness to the Gospel in Rome, he was protected until then. He was saved many times from the dangerous sea voyage that included a fierce storm (Acts 27,13-18), a shipwreck (Acts 27,39-44) and a viper (Acts 28,3-6). He found encouragement in this promise, when he had difficult times with the leaders, the fanatics who tried to kill him and the government officials who ignored him. In all of this, the Lord was with him and fulfilling His perfect plan to get His Faithful servant to Rome.