Ss Nereus & Achilleus, martyrs
6th Week of Easter : Wednesday 12th May 2021
Acts 17:15,22—18:1; Ps. 148:1-2,11-12,13,14;
Jn. 16:12-15 (Ps Wk II)
In the first century Roman Empire, many new religions and cults were spreading, especially from the East. Therefore, to the Greeks in Athens, Paul’s preaching was just about another new God called Jesus. Paul worked on two fronts — in the synagogues with the Jews and Gentiles who feared God, and in the ‘market-place’ where ordinary people gathered to hear Paul’ s approach which was similar to Greek philosophers.
When we reflect on Paul’s speech at the Aeropagus, we notice the mastery with which he makes known the Gospel. He begins by praising the Athenians for being very religious. Then, he identifies the God about whom he is preaching with the “unknown god”. Having captured their attention, Paul preaches at length about Jesus. Although some people ridicule and laugh at him when he mentions the resurrection, others are intrigued and want to hear more. In this way, Paul was able to add to the number of believers.
Paul’s approach and preaching in Athens was unique for a Christian preacher. It was because the Holy Spirit guided him. This was the assurance that Jesus gave to his disciples, that is, as the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit will be their constant guide, speaking to them what he hears from Jesus, who in turn receives from the Father. It means Jesus, who once said in the flesh, now speaks through the Spirit. Like Paul, we may be eager to share the Gospel with others. Paul depended totally on the Holy Spirit. We have to do the same.
Lord, help me listen to Your Spirit.