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Home » Daily Readings

Paul in Thessalonica

Submitted by on Tuesday, 25 August 2009One Comment

Thessalonica in Achaia

NAB HomepageToday’s Readings

Paul begins the main part of his letter to the Thessalonians by recalling how he first came to Thessalonica. He has had quite an experience in Philippi, an experience Luke narrates in Acts 16:16-40. He was imprisoned there because of slave girl that he exorcised. And while in prison, he and companions were miraculously released, and at the same time, winning the jailer and the jailer’s household over to the Lord. From Philippi Paul and Silas went to Thessalonica, freed from prison but bearing the marks of their undeserved punishment (see Acts 16:22-23,37).

Then, Paul recalls how he proclaimed the gospel entrusted to him. He proclaimed it with sincerity and without pretense. This is a constant theme in the letter’s of Paul, especially in those letters where his ministry is under attack (Galatians, 2 Corinthians). With the Thessalonians, he links the sincerity of his ministry to the care he showed to the Thessalonians, using nursing images to this effect, telling them how he loved them.

The spirit of today’s liturgy highlights the sincerity of the bearer of good news. The responsorial is taken from Psalm 139, which is the psalmist’s cry of wonder at the knowledge that God has of him. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” exclaims the psalmist as he thinks of the intimate knowledge God has of him. In the Gospel selection, we have Jesus denouncing the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the scribes. He is after all the Son of Man who has come as judge, the one who reveals everyone to themselves. The light that has begun to show in Galilee, he does not only give hope to those who sit in darkness. He is the light that reveals what lies hidden in the dark

Acts 16:16-40
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16And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain girl, having a pythonical spirit, met us, who brought to her masters much gain by divining.
17This same following Paul and us, cried out, saying: These men are the servants of the most high God, who preach unto you the way of salvation.
18And this she did many days. But Paul being grieved, turned, and said to the spirit: I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to go out from her. And he went out the same hour.
19But her masters, seeing that the hope of their gain was gone, apprehending Paul and Silas, brought them into the marketplace to the rulers.
20And presenting them to the magistrates, they said: These men disturb our city, being Jews;
21And preach a fashion which it is not lawful for us to receive nor observe, being Romans.
22And the people ran together against them; and the magistrates rending off their clothes, commanded them to be beaten with rods.
23And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the gaoler to keep them diligently.
24Who having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
25And at midnight, Paul and Silas praying, praised God. And they that were in prison, heard them.
26And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and the bands of all were loosed.
27And the keeper of the prison, awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the doors of the prison open, drawing his sword, would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying: Do thyself no harm, for we all are here.
29Then calling for a light, he went in, and trembling, fell down at the feet of Paul and Silas.
30And bringing them out, he said: Masters, what must I do, that I may be saved?
31But they said: Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32And they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house.
33And he, taking them the same hour of the night, washed their stripes, and himself was baptized, and all his house immediately.
34And when he had brought them into his own house, he laid the table for them, and rejoiced with all his house, believing God.
35And when the day was come, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
36And the keeper of the prison told these words to Paul: The magistrates have sent to let you go; now therefore depart, and go in peace.
37But Paul said to them: They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men that are Romans, and have cast us into prison: and now do they thrust us out privately? Not so; but let them come,
38And let us out themselves. And the serjeants told these words to the magistrates. And they were afraid, hearing that they were Romans.
39And coming, they besought them; and bringing them out, they desired them to depart out of the city.
40And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia; and having seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.
Acts 16:22-23,37
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
22And the people ran together against them; and the magistrates rending off their clothes, commanded them to be beaten with rods.
23And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the gaoler to keep them diligently.
37But Paul said to them: They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men that are Romans, and have cast us into prison: and now do they thrust us out privately? Not so; but let them come,

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