Reflection: How did Paul show his unreserved love for the Ephesian community? How do you collaborate with the members of your community?
Prayer: With a grateful heart, remember the important people in your life and pray for them. Also ask God to provide more leaders and collaborators so that you can work with them together to evangelize.
Action: Strive to acquire the virtues of those who helped you grow in your faith, such as generosity, humility, and honesty.
Acts of the Apostles
Journey to Macedonia and Greece.
1 When the disturbance was over, Paul had the disciples summoned and, after encouraging them, he bade them farewell and set out on his journey to Macedonia. 2 As he traveled throughout those regions, he provided many words of encouragement for them. Then he arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed for three months. But when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return by way of Macedonia.
Return to Troas.
4 Sopater, the son of Pyrrhus, from Beroea, accompanied him, as did Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia 5 who went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 We sailed from Philippi after the feast of Unleavened Bread, and rejoined them five days later in Troas, where we spent a week.
Eutychus Restored to Life.
7 On the first day of the week* when we gathered to break bread, Paul spoke to them because he was going to leave on the next day, and he kept on speaking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were gathered, 9 and a young man named Eutychus who was sitting on the window sill was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. Once overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and when he was picked up, he was dead. 10 Paul went down,* threw himself upon him, and said as he embraced him, “Don't be alarmed; there is life in him.” 11 Then he returned upstairs, broke the bread, and ate; after a long conversation that lasted until daybreak, he departed. 12And they took the boy away alive and were immeasurably comforted.
Journey to Miletus.
13 We went ahead to the ship and set sail for Assos where we were to take Paul on board, as he had arranged, since he was going overland. 14When he met us in Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15 We sailed away from there on the next day and reached a point off Chios, and a day later we reached Samos, and on the following day we arrived at Miletus. 16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus in order not to lose time in the province of Asia, for he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if at all possible, for the day of Pentecost.
Paul's Farewell Speech at Miletus.
17 From Miletus he had the presbyters of the church at Ephesus summoned. 18 When they came to him, he addressed them, “You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, 20 and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public or in your homes. 21 I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus. 22 But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, 23 except that in one city after another the holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. 24 Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God's grace.
25 “But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again. 26 And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, 27 for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. 30 And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them. 31 So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day, I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to that gracious word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated. 33I have never wanted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. 34 You know well that these very hands have served my needs and my companions. 35 In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”l
36 When he had finished speaking he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 They were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him, 38for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.
Teaching from Fr. Francis Ching (Traditional and Simplified Chinese subtitles are available):
Read Acts 20:7. What is the “first day of the week” for a Jew? What kind of evidence does this passage provide for the Christian use of this day? How does the structure of worship described here reflect the essential structure of Christian liturgy?
The Resurrection of Eutychus
- This text reveals that Christians have been gathering on Sunday, that is, “the first day of the week” since the time of Paul’s. The structure of these gatherings is similar to that of today’s mass, which begins with Liturgy of the Word and followed by Liturgy of the Eucharist = Jesus is present in the Church through the Word and Sacrament.
- Luke portrays this accident about the youth with a great sense of humour. The inappropriateness of the youth becomes an opportunity to God’s glory. It starts tragically but ends happily. “Paul … bending over him” > Elijah and Elisha raising a dead child.
Paul speaks to the Ephesian Elders
- Paul disregards his own life in order to fulfill Christ’s mission. He deems everything as lost but puts Christ ahead of everything. This doesn’t mean that he has won Christ, but Christ has won over him. He seems to be a “debtor”, and under the urges of Christ’s love, his missionary life continues with great faithfulness.
- “… to shepherd the Church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son” >Jesus is God.
• “It is more blessed to give than to receive” – this teaching is not recorded in any of the Gospels > many teachings about Jesus and the truth are not recorded in Scripture but are passed down through Holy Traditions, preserved through the customs of the Apostles, helping the Church to correctly understand Jesus’ teachings and God’s revelation. Once again, this points out the error of “Sola Scriptura”.
- “I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. … Therefore, be alert … support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.” Paul’s words of departure, indeed, come from his heart, no wonder they strike the deepest cord in the listeners’ hearts.
Acts of the Apostles
Journey to Macedonia and Greece. / Return to Troas. / Eutychus Restored to Life. / Journey to Miletus. / Paul's Farewell Speech at Miletus. /h3>
- Bible & Reflection
- Teaching (Video)
- Lecture (Notes & Audio)
- Other Resources