December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 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.
- As he traveled throughout those regions, he provided many words of encouragement for them. Then he arrived in Greece,
- 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.
- 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
- who went on ahead and waited for us 1 at Troas.
- We sailed from Philippi after the feast of Unleavened Bread, 2 and rejoined them five days later in Troas, where we spent a week.
- On the first day of the week 3 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.
- There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were gathered,
- 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.
- Paul went down, 4 threw himself upon him, and said as he embraced him, "Don't be alarmed; there is life in him."
- Then he returned upstairs, broke the bread, and ate; after a long conversation that lasted until daybreak, he departed.
- And they took the boy away alive and were immeasurably comforted.
- 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.
- When he met us in Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene.
- 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.
- 5 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.
- From Miletus he had the presbyters of the church at Ephesus summoned.
- 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.
- I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews,
- 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.
- I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.
- But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know,
- except that in one city after another the holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me.
- 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.
- "But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again.
- And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
- for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.
- Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, 6 in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood.
- I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock.
- And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them.
- So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day, I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
- 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.
- I have never wanted anyone's silver or gold or clothing.
- You know well that these very hands have served my needs and my companions.
- 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.'"
- When he had finished speaking he knelt down and prayed with them all.
- They were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
- for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.
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1  The second "we-section" of Acts begins here. See the note on Acts 16:10-17.
2  Feast of Unleavened Bread: see the note on Luke 22:1.
3  The first day of the week: the day after the sabbath and the first day of the Jewish week, apparently chosen originally by the Jerusalem community for the celebration of the liturgy of the Eucharist in order to relate it to the resurrection of Christ.
4  The action of Paul in throwing himself upon the dead boy recalls that of Elijah in 1 Kings 17:21 where the son of the widow of Zarephath is revived and that of Elisha in 2 Kings 4:34 where the Shunamite woman's son is restored to life.
5 [16-35] Apparently aware of difficulties at Ephesus and neighboring areas, Paul calls the presbyters together at Miletus, about thirty miles from Ephesus. He reminds them of his dedication to the gospel (Acts 20:18-21), speaks of what he is about to suffer for the gospel (Acts 20:22-27), and admonishes them to guard the community against false prophets, sure to arise upon his departure (Acts 20:28-31). He concludes by citing a saying of Jesus (Acts 20:35) not recorded in the gospel tradition. Luke presents this farewell to the Ephesian presbyters as Paul's last will and testament.
6  Overseers: see the note on Philippians 1:1. The church of God: because the clause "that he acquired with his own blood" following "the church of God" suggests that "his own blood" refers to God's blood, some early copyists changed "the church of God" to "the church of the Lord." Some prefer the translation "acquired with the blood of his own," i.e., Christ.
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