On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in lodgings of his own with the soldier who guarded him.
After three days he called together the leading Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, ‘Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and would have set me free, since they found me guilty of nothing involving the death penalty; but the Jews lodged an objection, and I was forced to appeal to Caesar, not that I had any accusation to make against my own nation. That is why I have asked to see you and talk to you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear this chain.’
Paul spent the whole of the two years in his own rented lodging. He welcomed all who came to visit him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete freedom and without hindrance from anyone.
Peter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them – the one who had leaned on his breast at the supper and had said to him, ‘Lord, who is it that will betray you?’ Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.’ The rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus had not said to Peter, ‘He will not die’, but, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come.’
This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true.
There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written.
The upright will see His face.
Today’s readings mark the end of the wonderful season of Easter which we have celebrated for the past 7 weeks. In this period of time, what we have discovered is the simple yet profound truth that God loves us, and will allow us to discover what he wants from us through prayer and interaction with the people whom we meet and encounter in our lives.
The reading from the Acts of the Apostles sums up the journey of St Paul and shares with us an important lesson; that we must remain resolute in our effort to teach the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the people around us. This resolution comes from an encounter with the Lord and is something which we must continually renew. Encountering the Lord is not just a one-time experience but one which we can continually experience in prayer and our daily lives.
This encounter is done firstly through our own personal contact with God and to discover what plans He has for us. This is then followed by the participation in common celebrations of the Liturgy which manifests the unity of the Church amongst the people of God. The people make up the people of God in our lives. We therefore need to realise that our Christian journey with the people around us is not a competition per se, but one which allows us to encourage each other along the journey, to support each other in our strengths, especially when we fail.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Dear Lord, let us stay close to our friends who show us the path towards your love.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who have walked with us in the journey of faith.