by Rev. Sam D’Angelo, C.PP.S., Atlantic Province
Apollos began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately
From this one verse, we can see something significant happening. Apollos was excited! —so much so, that he speaks boldly in the synagogue in Ephesus, even though he was not from there. He had heard of John the Baptist’s proclamation of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and had embraced it wholeheartedly. But as we all know, it’s not just how we say something; it’s what we say that is important as well. All the boldness in the world doesn’t help us, if we don’t know the full story of what we’re trying to convey.
That’s where Priscilla and Aquila come in. They’re listening and observing this passionate speaker and rather than discouraging him or criticizing him in public for his lack of understanding of the message of Jesus, they quietly decide to help him on a personal basis.
Priscilla and Aquila are what, today, we would call a power couple, but one which sees power in the Gospel of Christ. To do this, they show hospitality to Apollos and open their doors to him. In their home, they explain to him the significance of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit’s role in the Church today.
What Priscilla and Aquila demonstrate to us today is that both men and women can effectively collaborate in ministry without concerns of superiority entering the picture. Like them, we can also look for opportunities to help others gain what we already have—whether it’s a greater understanding of our faith, or connecting them with a network of people who can better assist them in their vocational journey. We can also open our homes and our hearts in hospitality to fellow Christians and build one another up in the faith, whenever possible. What Priscilla and Aquila proclaim to us is that all persons share in the threefold munera of Christ—sanctifying, teaching and governing.