The Name

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Memorial of St. Justin, Martyr

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Today, in Mercy, Acts describes how the preaching of the Gospel spread across the Mediterranean basin. In today’s passage, we meet Apollos, and the couple Priscilla and Aquila.

Paul had met Priscilla and Aquila earlier, in Corinth ( Acts18:1-2). They became his followers, going with him to Ephesus, where they set up a new home. Their home became a worship place for the Ephesians, and they, influential leaders in that vibrant community.

The degree of their influence can be seen in today’s story about Apollos, a gifted speaker who had converted to Christianity from Judaism. The scene is early in Apollos’s conversion, and he apparently needs a little fine tuning in his preaching. So…

Priscilla and Aquila heard him,
they took him aside
and explained to him the Way of God more accurately.

Apollos goes on to become a significant influence on the early Church. In 1 Corinthians, Paul mentions Apollos at Corinth, describing Apollos’ role in this way:

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

All of the players in Acts today were able to accomplish what they did because they understood and lived a directive from Jesus given in today’s Gospel:

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.”

If we believe, live, and act in the Name of Jesus, God lives in us and in our experiences. 

But it can’t be words only. We often hear people, in a crisis or challenge, call on the Name of Jesus. But if Jesus hasn’t heard from us in a while, and doesn’t live already in our hearts, that invocation won’t work.

The Name of Jesus shines in us when it is a constant resident in our thoughts, choices and actions. May the power of that precious Name live in us.

Music: Jesus, the Lord – Roc O’Conner, SJ (Lyrics below)

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus
Let all creation bend the knee to the Lord.

1. In Him we live, we move and have our being;
In Him the Christ, In Him the King!
Jesus the Lord.

2. Though Son, He did not cling to Godliness,
But emptied Himself, became a slave!
Jesus the Lord. 

3. He lived obediently His Father’s will
Accepting His death, death on a cross!
Jesus the Lord.

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