Daily Office Readings for Monday Proper 13 of Year 1
“There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.” (Acts 18: 2 – 3)
Sometimes we need to back off the readings and remember the context of it all. Acts is written by Luke, of the Gospel Luke. Luke was a physician, a doctor. He obviously travels with Paul or meets with him from time to time. It’s always good to have a doctor in the house.
In this passage we discover that Paul is a tentmaker. I find it curious that this was not mentioned before now. This occupational information comes in handy as he meets Aquila and his wife Priscilla. Aquila is a tentmaker. So the two men have a number of things in common. They are both Jews, they both speak the same language and they both happen to have the same vocation, that of tentmaker.
From this we see that Luke the physician and Paul the tentmaker continued to be the people they were trained to be while also doing the work of ministry – of spreading the Gospel. I am also reminded that Simon Peter continued to be a fisherman while also defending the Gospel of Jesus.
From my beginnings in ministry this would have been my preferred path for preaching the Gospel. In hindsight I wish I had finished my Seminary training and then pursued a vocation in music, perhaps teaching music in elementary school or high school. Maybe it’s not too late. I will still be a priest, just not the rector of a parish. I too must ponder anew what the Almighty can do.
Pondering Mass Shootings:
This is a special and additional comment regarding two mass shootings that took place over this weekend; (2 – 3 August 2019): one was in El Paso, Texas and the other in Dayton, Ohio. A total of twenty nine dead and dozens wounded at this writing.
Guns seem to be the preferred method of carrying out this sadness. However, when such evil is in the heart there are a variety of ways to destroy: bombs, poisons, vehicles, mass transit, and so on. The first thing to address is: why is this evil in the heart in the first place? Once we address the misguided intentions of those who want to do such a thing we can begin to curve or even eradicate such violence. The question I always ponder about such horror is, “who was the pastor of the alleged perpetrator?” What spiritual advice was given either in sermons or in personal counsel that caused such violence, or was ineffective in preventing it?
I am told by family and friends that not everybody has a pastor. To this I say, “Yes, I see.”