Acts 28: 16-20. 30-31
When we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.
Three days later he called together the local leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, yet I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. When they had examined me, the Romans wanted to release me, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to the emperor—even though I had no charge to bring against my nation.
For this reason therefore I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is for the sake of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Endings and Beginnings
King Agrippa travels to Caesarea where he hears the charges against Paul. The king accedes to Paul’s demand that he be sent to Rome for trial before the emperor. It is in Rome that the Acts of the Apostles concludes. In this city Paul takes up his final ministry, preaching to Jews and Gentiles alike about the promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ alive and risen.
All of us have followed Jesus during these weeks of Lent and Easter. This weekend of transition offers the opportunity to look back with gratitude on the gifts and graces Jesus has offered as we have journeyed with him. How has he invited me into a stronger relationship? How has the Lord stretched my horizons? What has been my response—have I opened my heart, my life to my family, co-workers, neighbors? Have I opened my heart to those in need, to the poor, to strangers who cross my path? Have I found time to “rest in the Lord”?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Come, Holy Spirit of God, fill my life with your love, give hope to my heart. Strengthen my family, renew our world. Shower upon us all the gifts Jesus longs to give to the Church and to our waiting world. Bless us all…in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!