7th Week of Easter: Thursday, 6th June 2019

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7th Week of Easter

7th Week of Easter: Thursday, 6th June 2019

Acts 22:30; 23:6-11; Ps. 16(15):1-2,5,7-8,9-10,11;
Jn. 17:20-26 (Ps Wk III)

At the end of yesterday’s first reading we saw Paul leaving Miletus by sea. He knew that he would face many difficulties in Jerusalem, but with his long experience of danger, he could not have been prepared for the extraordinary roller coaster pattern of his days in Jerusalem.

Three times the Roman army had to intervene to protect him from angry mobs who wanted to tear him to pieces. He was struck on the mouth by the High Priest and only barely escaped being whipped by a Roman army commander. Jerusalem became too dangerous a place for him to stay so he had to be escorted by two hundred soldiers to Caesarea. Finally, he was sent to Rome under guard when he “appealed to Caesar”. Doubtless the Roman authorities must have heaved sighs of relief to get such a problematic person off their hands.

How moving it is to hear that the Lord “stood by” Paul on the night before he left Jerusalem for Caesarea and promised to be with him in Rome. ‘Stand by’ is much more than a mere indication of place or position. It conveys an assurance that a loving and powerful friend will support Paul effectively in his trials.

We too can count on the Lord to stand by us in the highs and lows, the fears and hopes, the acceptances and rejections of our lives.

Lord, as I walk in Paul’s footsteps, I will trust in You.