Reflection for Thursday, May 12, 2022: 4th Week of Easter.

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Quinn, Tom
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2022-05-12
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|St. Paul's missionary journeys often read as high adventure --- danger, sailing the Mediterranean, long treks with his companions, confrontation with hostile crowds, and shipwreck. When I contemplate Paul's activities, it is difficult for me to pare this aspect of his life from his motivation for the journey. I suppress my wandering thoughts and realize that Paul's surroundings and mode of transportation were incidental; they were a means to an end. Paul was passionate and dedicated to spreading the good news of Christ. His shift from persecutor of the early believers to evangelist for Christ further focuses my attention on the most important aspect of his travels...his love for Jesus, and the salvation of his brothers and sisters in Christ.|As we read today's passage from Acts 13, we can imagine Paul embarking from the Coast of ancient Syria, on a merchant ship with his companions. They sailed first to Cyprus to the city of Paphos where our readings for today commence. Paul preached in the synagogue before they continued north, to the southern coast of modern Turkey. They walked inland to Antioch in Pisidia. When Paul was invited to speak, he reminded the worshipers of their unique relationship with God, and the history of rule by prophets and kings. His intention was to establish that King David's line led to the birth of Jesus Christ, who John the Baptist had proclaimed. Paul told them that Jesus had, indeed, come among them as their Saviour. Paul's message was startling and courageous. He was promoting profound change in Jewish theology and philosophy. He and his companions were guests, far from home and on foot. They truly were in God's hands and preaching His message; The Saviour has come, believe and rejoice, alleluia.|The Gospel (Jn 13:16-20) underlines the message of God through the life and actions of Jesus, who washed the feet of his disciples to indicate that he has come among us as a servant, not as a ruler. St. Paul may have paraphrased and, in fact lived, the word of Jesus in today's Gospel. "Amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me, receives the one who sent me." I believe Jesus' words "If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it." But, what are we to do? Receive the Lord; spread His message; love and serve others; be humble in doing these things.
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University Ministry, Creighton University.
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These reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.
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