Memory of Jesus crucified

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 18,9-18

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, 'Be fearless; speak out and do not keep silence: I am with you. I have so many people that belong to me in this city that no one will attempt to hurt you.' So Paul stayed there preaching the word of God among them for eighteen months. But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a concerted attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, saying, 'We accuse this man of persuading people to worship God in a way that breaks the Law.' Before Paul could open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, 'Listen, you Jews. If this were a misdemeanour or a crime, it would be in order for me to listen to your plea; but if it is only quibbles about words and names, and about your own Law, then you must deal with it yourselves -- I have no intention of making legal decisions about these things.' Then he began to hustle them out of the court, and at once they all turned on Sosthenes, the synagogue president, and beat him in front of the tribunal. Gallio refused to take any notice at all. After staying on for some time, Paul took leave of the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut off, because of a vow he had made.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Corinthian community grew in number and so did its problems. We know the tensions of the young community of Corinth from Paul's two letters, tensions that put the unity of the community itself at risk. Paul probably felt discouragement and fear on more than one occasion and the night vision that Luke tells us recounts of a singular dialogue of the Lord with the Apostle. The Lord appears to Paula t night and says to him, "Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people." Paul welcomed these comforting words and decided to stay another year and a half in Corinth to preach the Gospel. The indication to have a mind and heart for the entire city is clear to Paul . there is a clear strategic horizon: the proclamation of the Gospel is for the entire city so that it may become a great people. The Lord wants his people to grow in the cities. It is in these places, which are so important for the lives of men and women, that the Lord wants to raise up witnesses of love, justice and peace. This was the challenge for Paul, but it is also the challenge for the Christians of today: how can we communicate the Gospel in the city where the Lord has "his people" and yet they are often hidden. We must remember always God's dream, the dream of raising up a people that can witness to the primacy of God and love.