With yesterday having been the feast of St. Phillip Neri, we missed the chance to consider the reading from the Acts of the Apostles for Thursday, and I’d like you to consider it today. The reading recounted the way the Lord appeared to Paul, saying, “Do not be afraid, I have many people in this city.”
What made the Lord’s assurance noteworthy was that Corinth was the most wicked city in the ancient world. The city was perched on the narrow isthmus between northern and southern Greece. It was a double port, with trading items from the Adriatic carted across Corinth to the port on the Aegean. Those loaded carts were prey to thieves who lived off them.
As well, the city catered to the superstitions and the lusts of a stream of sailors. It offered them thousands of temple girl, so that In those centuries a prostitute was usually referred to as a “Corinthian girl.”
The Lord’s saying that he had many people in that place should assure us that the Lord’s people are present in great numbers in our towns.