Luke had the privilege to accompany Paul on some of his missionary expeditions. It is probably Luke who authored the Acts of the Apostles and gives us a mostly firsthand account of them. I find it interesting, and a sign of authenticity that the letters of Paul often contain little tidbits of ordinary life such as asking for Timothy to bring the cloak he left with Clopas in Troas when he comes. Today’s First Reading gives ample evidence that Paul worked with a band of other men in his proclamation of the Gospel. He was not alone in his ministry. This is a very important aspect of ministry to remember.

The more we isolate ourselves from others, the more prone we become to being attacked and overcome by the enemy. There is security and safety in numbers when fighting a war and that is precisely what we are doing when we proclaim the Gospel. The Good News is a war against sin and the lies of the devil. It is the Gospel of salvation versus the doctrines of death proclaimed and supported by Satan. We cannot hope to overcome Satan and all of his dominions if we are on our own. We need to unite ourselves with the Body of Christ and thus avail ourselves of all possible aids to salvation.

One of the first strategies of the devil is to try and isolate a Christian from the Body of Christ. Once he succeeds in this the rest is virtually a forgone conclusion! Let us never give the devil an opportunity to do this by forming and maintaining strong relationships in the Holy Spirit with our fellow brothers and sisters who are serving in the Kingdom of God. Let us seek to share all of the gifts that God has given us so that they can be fully utilized in the service of the Gospel. Imagine how much poorer we would be in our service of the Gospel if Luke had not shared with us his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles! These writings, along with others have served as the foundation stone of revelation and guidance to Christians for nearly 2000 years! What a tremendous service Luke has performed for the Christian Community.

Likewise, when we discover new ways to evangelize or disciple, let us share them with others at no cost. We have received without charge, let us give without charge! Let us be generous in every aspect of our service to the Kingdom of God.

Are you active in a Christian Community or parish? If not, I think it is time for you to find a place to serve.

Lord Jesus, you came among us as a man to serve and not to be served. You have set the mark when it comes to generosity in that you died for us! Grant me the grace to be generous in the ways that I choose to give my life in the service of those around me.