Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Acts 28:7-10  Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It so happened that the father of Publius lay sick in bed with fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and cured him by praying and putting his hands on him. After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They bestowed many honors on us, and when we were about to sail, they put on board all the provisions we needed.

Paul is under arrest, being transported from Jerusalem for trial in Rome, when his ship is wrecked on the island of Malta. Today there is an inlet called St Paul’s Bay which tradition locates as the site of this shipwreck.  A leader of this community is cured by Paul’s prayers, and they end up staying three months on this island.
What is remarkable is Paul’s generous spirit. He has been arrested, unfairly accused, imprisoned, shipwrecked, and just as the survivors haul themselves onto the beach – he is bitten by a snake![1]  Yet, instead of using the moment to plead his case before an important leader, he visits his home and prays for his health.

The question raised by this passage asks whether we are so wrapped up in our own misery that we do not see the needs of others. An ego-centred world will blind us to the suffering of people around us. The Christian response is always one that puts injustice and suffering in our community ahead of personal desires.

Talk about suffering here below
And let's keep a-loving Jesus.
Talk about suffering here below
And let's keep a-following Jesus.
(Greg Graffin)


First Sunday after Trinity
31 Mercy, Justice and Love
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 197.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.


[1] Acts 28:6

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