One of today’s readings is taken from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, and we hear about St. Paul and some of his friends:
After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together—by trade they were tentmakers. Every Sabbath he would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with proclaiming the word, testifying to the Jews that the Messiah was Jesus. When they opposed and reviled him, in protest he shook the dust from his clothes and said to them,‘Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.’ Then he left the synagogue and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshipper of God; his house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the official of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul became believers and were baptized. One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.’ He stayed there for a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. (Acts 18: 1-11).
The passage tells us that Claudius ordered all of the Jewish people to leave Rome. The Roman historian Suetonius wrote that Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome because they were rioting on account of “Chrestus”;he was referring to disputes between Christian and non-Christian Jews in Rome.
Paul probably came to Corinth around the year 50 A.D. where he met Aquila and Priscilla who were tent makers like Paul, and they worked together. It is not clear whether Aquila and Priscilla were already Christians before meeting Paul, or were converted by his preaching. Clearly the pair was dear to Paul, and they were earnest and effective in spreading the Good News of Christ and His saving work. Altogether, Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned six times in the New Testament (Acts 18:2,18,26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19), and interestingly, in the odd-numbered mentions, Aquila’s name comes first, while in the even-numbered mentions, Priscilla’s comes first, as if to emphasize that they are being mentioned on equal terms.
Today’s reading also show us how Paul preached the Jews and Gentiles, to all people, about the savings acts of Jesus, who tells Paul not to be afraid, but to preach the Good News boldly.
Let us pray: God of grace and might, we praise you for your servants Paul, Aquila and Priscilla, to whom you gave gifts to make the good news known. Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds and evangelists of your kingdom, so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
The Adult Christian Education Series: Lord, Teach Us To Pray: Six Studies on the Lord’s Prayer from the Kerygma Series. We started the study this Sunday, and it was wonderful! Please join Jillian Bain on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and Tammie Taylor on Mondays.
The Fourth Annual St. Augustine Art Show is underway, and is open to the public. We have a record 103 entries!
St. Vincent’s Day Celebration at St. Vincent’s House on 29 September 2012 at 10:00 a.m.
Blessing of the Animals for St. Francis Day, Saturday, 13 October 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Cross on the lawn in front of Sutton Hall.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, and especially Fred Pearson and his family and for our newly baptized, Brycen L. Woods.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550