Posted by: frburke23 | May 19, 2015

Thought for Tuesday, 7th Week of Easter

Acts 20:17-27

From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned.
When they came to him, he addressed them,
“You know how I lived among you
the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia.
I served the Lord with all humility
and with the tears and trials that came to me
because of the plots of the Jews,
and I did not at all shrink from telling you
what was for your benefit,
or from teaching you in public or in your homes.
I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks
to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.
But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.
What will happen to me there I do not know,
except that in one city after another
the Holy Spirit has been warning me
that imprisonment and hardships await me.
Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.

“But now I know that none of you
to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels
will ever see my face again.
And so I solemnly declare to you this day
that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”

=====================================================

In today’s reading, St. Paul is saying goodbye to the leaders of Ephesus.  In his farewell speech, he tells the leaders that he has served the Lord in humility and has not shrunk from the task.  He preached the Good News of Jesus Christ even though he was persecuted for it.

Now he is feeling compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem, even though he feels that imprisonment and hardships await him.  This sounds like Jesus heading to Jerusalem, knowing that death awaited Him. 

But neither Jesus nor Paul worried about death because their mission was to be obedient to the Father, despite impending dangers, and bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.  Paul had shared with everyone the Good News – now it was up to them to act upon it.  He did all that he could for their souls and would never see them again on earth.  His great hope was to see them all again in heaven.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could echo these words of St. Paul near the end of our lives?  Will we be able to say, “I have done all I could to spread the Gospel”?  Will we have any regrets on our death bed?  Let us live every day to the full.  Let us preach the Gospel always and “when necessary use words”.

Can we say, like Paul, “I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God?”

God bless,

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Here is the Spanish translation:

Hechos 20:17-27

Desde Mileto Pablo tenía convocados a los presbíteros
de la Iglesia en Éfeso.
Cuando lo vinieron a él, se dirigió a ellos,
“Ya saben cómo viví entre ustedes
todo el tiempo desde el primer día que vine a la provincia de Asia.
Yo serví al Señor con toda humildad,
y con las lágrimas y pruebas que vinieron a mí
a causa de las intrigas de los Judíos,
y yo no rehuí en absoluto de decirles
lo que era para su beneficio,
o de enseñarles en público o en sus hogares.
Yo sinceramente testifiqué para ambos Judíos y griegos
al arrepentimiento ante Dios y la fe en nuestro Señor Jesús.
Pero ahora, obligado por el Espíritu, voy a Jerusalén.
Qué me pasara allí no lo sé,
excepto que en una ciudad tras otra
el Espíritu Santo me ha estado advirtiendo
que el encarcelamiento y dificultades me esperan.
Sin embargo, considero la vida sin importancia para mí,
con tal que acabe mi curso
y el ministerio que recibí del Señor Jesús,
para dar testimonio del evangelio de la gracia de Dios.

“Pero ahora sé que ninguno de ustedes
a quienes les he predicado el reino durante mis viajes
jamás verán mi rostro de nuevo.
Y así les declaro solemnemente en este día
que yo no soy responsable de la sangre de alguno de ustedes,
porque no he rehuido de anunciarles todo el designio de Dios”.

______________________________________________________

En la lectura de hoy, San Pablo les está diciendo adiós a los líderes de Éfeso. En su discurso de despedida, él les dice a los líderes que ha servido al Señor en humildad y no se ha rehuido de la tarea. Él predicó la Buena Nueva de Jesucristo a pesar de que fue perseguido por ello.

Ahora él se siente obligado por el Espíritu Santo para ir a Jerusalén, a pesar de que él siente que el encarcelamiento y dificultades lo esperan.  Esto suena como Jesús rumbo a Jerusalén, sabiendo que la muerte lo esperaba.

Pero ni Jesús ni Pablo se preocuparon de la muerte, porque su misión era ser obedientes al Padre, a pesar de los peligros inminentes, y dar testimonio del Evangelio de la gracia de Dios. Pablo había compartido la Buena Nueva con todos – ahora les toca a ellos actuar. Él ha hecho todo lo que puede y no los volverá a ver de nuevo en la tierra. Su gran esperanza es verlos de nuevo a todos en el cielo.

¿No sería magnífico si pudiéramos resonar estas palabras de San Pablo cerca del final de nuestras vidas? ¿Seremos capaces de decir: “He hecho todo lo que pude de propagar el Evangelio”? ¿Tendremos algún remordimiento en nuestro lecho de muerte? Vivamos cada día al máximo. Prediquemos el Evangelio siempre y “cuando sea necesario, utilice las palabras”.

¿Podemos decir, como Pablo, “No he rehuido de anunciarles todo el designio de Dios?”

Dios los bendiga,

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com


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