28TH MAY 2022
1st Reading Acts of the Apostles 18:9-18
Gospel- John 16:20-23
Our today's reflection will be based on the first reading.
This passage continues from Thursday and yesterday's incidents of Paul's rejection. On Thursday Paul was opposed by the Greeks on account of preaching something that did not appeal to logic, reason and philosophy. In yesterday's reading he was rejected by Orthodox Jews for preaching the "Jewish religion" in an unorthodox manner! Namely preaching about Jesus Christ the Son of God - which seems to hurt their religious feelings.
The proconsul (the governor) refused to be entangled in cases about semantics, words and a religion he has no interests in!
In anger the Jews attack Sosthenes- Paul's coworker.
Paul decides not to be discouraged by opposition; instead he relocates and finds a receptive audience in Galatia and Phrygia.
Incidentally a man gifted in eloquence comes into the picture as a fellow preacher- Apollos; though he is not known to Paul. Ordinarily we would expect him to be rejected or at least stopped. ( the way John and James did - stopping some people from performing miracles in Jesus' name - during their missionary journey - because they were not among the disciples; Jesus had rebuked them for this. "Do not stop them", he had told them.).
Priscilla and Aquila took Apollos, mentored him and encouraged him in his missionary work. They did not feel challenged by his intelligence and eloquence; rather they recognized its complementary value. In a team spirit they preached the Gospel of Christ to the chagrin of the Jews. Through this the Jews were confuted to the glory of God. Let us pray for a spirit of unity of purpose and of team work as we serve our Lord.