Jesus addressed his disciples as “You who do not belong to this world.” He said, “I have chosen you out of this world.” He said he had appointed them to go bear fruit that would remain.
The first reading described the journey of a similar group that the Lord had chosen out of this world. Paul and Silas and Timothy had evangelized the central towns of in what is modern day Turkey. They had attempted to go preach the Gospel to towns southwest of there, but with one incident after another blocking their way, they decided it was God’s will that they move towards the old city of Troy in the northwest. From there they planned to cross over to preach in Europe. It was at Troy that St. Luke seems to have made his commitment to accompany Paul, serving the Lord.
I say it was there he “seemed to have made his commitment to accompany Paul, serving the Lord.” Up to then Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, had been describing the journey on foot of three men, Paul, Silas, and Timothy. But when it came to crossing over to Macedonia Luke suddenly stopped talking about what they had done, switching to saying , “We set sail for Macedonia.”
Speaking of Paul’s little group, and speaking as well of the twelve Apostles, whom Jesus had chosen out of this world, makes us think of similar groups today. Our Sister of St. Francis Xavier who come to Mass here every morning are a similar group. The Lord has chosen them out of this world. Then, in my twenty-four years at St. Paul’s we had similar happy groups. We had a parish council where the members met to discuss making things better all around. We had a fine faculty, made up of men and women who didn’t earn much, but whose children learned much. We had an outstanding ladies guild that did all that was requested of them, then, doing more.