When he entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.
There is much that we don’t know about Paul’s stay in Rome. Acts tells us that he lived there for two years, and was allowed to evangelize from there. And that’s how the book ends. There are indications that Paul was eventually released, but nothing more is said of him in Acts. It is fitting, perhaps, that as Acts begins with the Pentecost event and proceeds to tell of the spread of the early church to the then known world, that Luke stops when it reaches the capital of the empire. And, for us, that tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Pentecost—our Pentecost.
A note in the New American Bible tells us that, “Although the ending of Acts may seem to be abrupt, Luke has now completed his story with the establishment of Paul and the proclamation of Christianity in Rome. Paul’s confident and unhindered proclamation of the gospel in Rome forms the climax to the story whose outline was provided in Acts 1:8: ‘You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…and to the ends of the earth.’”
We know, of course, that the story of the growth of the church did not end there. All of us who come after are expected to continue the work of the early apostles and so many others who have followed. How do we get the strength to do this? Through our celebrations of Eucharist. There we are faced once again with the saving actions of Jesus on our behalf, strengthened by his word and his flesh and blood, and then sent forth to proclaim the good news by the quality of our lives. Jesus depends on us.
How can I spread the good news of Christ today?
Let Us Pray:
Jesus, my savior, I know that the story of your church did not end with the New Testament story, but is meant to be continued in me. Strengthen and enlighten me so that I may be your apostle in my world. Fill me with your Spirit so that I may not fail.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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