May 11, 2013
Acts 18: 23-28
After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
Now there came to Ephesus a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria. He was an eloquent man, well-versed in the scriptures. He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord; and he spoke with burning enthusiasm and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately. And when he wished to cross over to Achaia, the believers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. On his arrival he greatly helped those who through grace had become believers, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Messiah is Jesus.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Fire and Freedom
In today’s reading from Acts we see the early church on fire for Jesus Christ. We hear of Paul traveling and strengthening disciples and Apollos “speaking boldly” about Jesus. Though this can be inspiring for us to read, it might be hard for us to figure out how to re-create the same tenacity in which Paul and Apollos speak about God.
What seems to be at the heart of this early church is freedom. In chapter 18 of Acts, we read about Paul’s freedom in all of his travels. Paul will spread the good news and go on to the next town in order to bring the message of Jesus to everybody. We see the freedom of Apollos who, we are told, is an eloquent speaker and teaches accurately about Jesus, and is an authority on the Scriptures. Yet he is free to receive more instructions from Priscilla and Aquila.
Let us reflect on this freedom today. Is it difficult for me to move on from past hurts, passed ambitions, or past regrets? Am I free to learn from others? Am I free to empower others to continue on work that I may have started?
Let us ask God for this grace of freedom today and to be inspired by the freedom of the early church.
—Br. Pat Douglas, S.J, is Vocation Promoter for the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus and a residence hall chaplain at Creighton University, Omaha, NE. For more information on Jesuit vocations, click here.
O Spirit of God, we ask you to help orient
all our actions by your inspirations,
carry them on by your gracious assistance,
that every prayer and work of ours
may always begin from you
and through you be happily ended.
—A Prayer for Spiritual Freedom
(Excerpt from Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuit
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