1 Chronicles 13-15; Acts 20

Acts 20:7-12 On the first day of the week 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, 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.

This is perhaps my favorite vignette in Acts.  In this chapter, Luke reverts to the first person plural, and his dry, sly sense of humor shines through in “…as Paul talked on and on.”  And I love Luke’s understated way of describing the happy ending.  If Eutychus was a canonized saint, he’d undoubtedly be the patron saint of those sitting through dull, interminable homilies.  I’ve sat through a few and fortunately I wasn’t sitting in an open window two or three stories about the ground.  Our pastor – a superb homilist – has a gift of being able to connect the Word to our daily lives.  Not all priests are so talented, but we should pray nonetheless for these humble men who have dedicated their lives to the love of Jesus and the care of his flock.

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