In today’s First Reading there is a momentous new person, place, and pronoun that show the Acts of the Apostles are starting to head in our direction, geographically and historically. We hear of Timothy for the first time, a Jewish-Gentile convert whom Paul takes with him on his missionary voyage. Timothy would later be the recipient of two letters by Paul that form part of the canon of Scripture: 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy. These Pastoral Epistles by Paul show Timothy years later continuing Paul’s work of caring for the Churches, and in Paul’s advice we see the Church taking shape as we live in it today.
Paul today has lots of ideas for where to go next in his missionary voyage, but the Spirit reins him in. Little does he know the Spirit is saving him for something big: Macedonia. The difference between Macedonia and most of the places mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles is that Macedonia is in Europe: by going to Macedonia Paul goes from Asia Minor, where most of his missionary work took place, into a new continent, and for those of us with a European background, the Acts of the Apostles start heading in our direction.
Lastly, there is a momentous change of pronoun: Luke suddenly goes from speaking of “they” to speaking of “we”: though it can’t be definitively confirmed, this “we” seems to indicate that Luke is actually accompanying Paul for the rest of the mission. Paul’s story draws closer to us, historically and geographically, but that “we” also leaves room for us to get involved. Where can we go to continue the work Paul started? How can we help to care for the Churches today? Let’s ask St. Paul, St. Timothy, and St. Luke to intercede for us and help us to see how we can help build on what they started.
Readings: Acts 16:1–10; Psalm 100:1b–3, 5; John 15:18–21. See also 5th Week of Easter, Saturday.