Sunday Vigil

Ossza Meg

For the Jews today is Shavuot (Pentecost).


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 28,16-20.30-31

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, though not because I had any accusation to make against my own nation. That is why I have urged you to see me and have a discussion with me, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear this chain.' He 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 fearlessness and without any hindrance from anyone.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This last page of the Acts of the Apostles describes the delivering of the Gospel to the Romans. Paul starts his mission in a private house in Rome, while is at the house arrest and enjoying some benevolence from the Roman authorities. The apostle has the representatives of the Jewish community come to him. Though many did not welcome his preaching they were not hostile to him rather they showed great tolerance and said openly they did not have anything against him. Paul stayed in the house for two years - a house probably nearby the Jewish neighbourhood - and he transformed it in a missionary centre. Though his body was enchained, Paul was running an intense apostolic work: he had people in the house, preached, prayed and wrote letters to the distant communities. Nothing, not even chains, prevented the apostle to communicate the Gospel. What an example for us who have tools and means and yet we have a hard time, when we do not forget, speaking to the hearts of people! Luke, at this point, interrupts the narration in a brisk way as if to say that the spreading of Christianity in the entire world starts here. He does not even speak of Paul's martyrdom. From other sources we know that around the end of the second year of his stay in Rome the political climate towards Christians changed and Nero unleashed a persecution during which both Peter and Paul were killed. Luke simply underlines that Paul was openly preaching Christian faith. The young man who had kept the coats while Stephen was stoned had let Jesus attract him to the point of walking the paths of the world "proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ."