Tuesday 24 May 2022 6th week of Eastertide
The crowd joined in and showed their hostility to Paul and Silas, so the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be flogged. They were given many lashes and then thrown into prison, and the gaoler was told to keep a close watch on them. So, following his instructions, he threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. Late that night Paul and Silas were praying and singing God’s praises, while the other prisoners listened. Suddenly there was an earthquake that shook the prison to its foundations. All the doors flew open and the chains fell from all the prisoners. When the gaoler woke and saw the doors wide open he drew his sword and was about to commit suicide, presuming that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted at the top of his voice, ‘Don’t do yourself any harm; we are all here.’ The gaoler called for lights, then rushed in, threw himself trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas, and escorted them out, saying, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They told him, ‘Become a believer in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, and your household too.’ Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all his family. Late as it was, he took them to wash their wounds, and was baptised then and there with all his household. Afterwards he took them home and gave them a meal, and the whole family celebrated their conversion to belief in God.
Psalm 137 You stretch out your hand and save me, O Lord. La tua destra mi salva, Signore.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Now I am going to the one who sent me. Not one of you has asked, “Where are you going?” Yet you are sad at heart because I have told you this. Still, I must tell you the truth: it is for your own good that I am going because unless I go, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I do go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will show the world how wrong it was, about sin, and about who was in the right, and about judgement: about sin: proved by their refusal to believe in me; about who was in the right: proved by my going to the Father and your seeing me no more; about judgement: proved by the prince of this world being already condemned.’
+ Dal Vangelo secondo Giovanni
In quel tempo, disse Gesù ai suoi discepoli: «Ora vado da colui che mi ha mandato e nessuno di voi mi domanda: “Dove vai?”. Anzi, perché vi ho detto questo, la tristezza ha riempito il vostro cuore. Ma io vi dico la verità: è bene per voi che io me ne vada, perché, se non me ne vado, non verrà a voi il Paràclito; se invece me ne vado, lo manderò a voi. E quando sarà venuto, dimostrerà la colpa del mondo riguardo al peccato, alla giustizia e al giudizio. Riguardo al peccato, perché non credono in me; riguardo alla giustizia, perché vado al Padre e non mi vedrete più; riguardo al giudizio, perché il principe di questo mondo è già condannato».
Parola del Signore
Nella prima lettura abbiamo ascoltato la storia di come Paolo e Sila furono perseguitati a Filippi, in quella che oggi è una parte della Grecia. Erano perseguitati dai proprietari di schiavi che erano arrabbiati con loro perché diffondevano il messaggio cristiano di speranza e di uguaglianza, perché tale messaggio sarebbe stato un grande incoraggiamento per gli schiavi, per mantenere la speranza e persino per insorgere contro i loro padroni e proprietari di schiavi. Per questo motivo, i proprietari di schiavi incitarono l’intera città e i funzionari contro di loro.
La parte più bella di questa lettura è il cambiamento del carceriere. Per quanto tardi, egli portò Paolo e Sila a lavare le loro ferite, e lui e la sua famiglia furono battezzati in quel momento con tutta la sua famiglia. Questo includeva anche i suoi schiavi. Questo completo capovolgimento è una potente testimonianza dell’opera dello Spirito di Gesù Cristo.
Cerchiamo di essere abbastanza coraggiosi da proclamare lo stesso messaggio di speranza e di uguaglianza che deriva dalla testimonianza del Vangelo di Gesù.
In our first reading we heard of the story of how Paul and Silas were persecuted in Philippi in what is today part of Greece. They were harassed by the slave owners who were angry at them for spreading the Christian message of hope and equality, because such a message would be a great encouragement for slaves, to hold onto hope and even possibly rise up against their slave masters and owners. Hence, the slave owners incited the whole town and the officials against them.
The beautiful part of this reading is the change in the jailer. Late as it was, he took Paul and Silas to wash their wounds, and he and his family were baptised then and there with all his household. That would have included his slaves. This complete turn around is a powerful witness to the workings of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Let us be bold enough to proclaim the same message of hope and equality that comes with our witnessing the Gospel of Jesus.