The author writes: One day, as we were going to the women’s place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination; she brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews, and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.” The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to lock them up as securely as he could. Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he assumed all the prisoners had escaped, and he drew his sword. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself! We are all still here.” The jailer called for torches so that he could see, and rushing into the cell, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out of the cell, and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.
The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice;
let every island be glad.
Clouds and darkness surround the Lord;
righteousness and justice are the foundations of God’s throne.
Fire goes before the Lord, burning up enemies on every side.
Lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens declare your righteousness, O Lord,
and all people see your glory.
The holy city hears and is glad;
the towns and villages rejoice.
For you are the Lord,
most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all other gods.
You who love the Lord, reject evil!
God guards the lives of the faithful
and rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
Rejoice in the Lord, all you righteous,
and give thanks to God’s holy name.
John 17:1, 11, 15, 20-24
After his last dinner with the disciples, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Now I am no longer in the world, but my disciples are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name, so that they may be one, as you and I are one. I am not asking you to take them away from the world, but I ask you to protect them from evil. I ask not only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me because of their words, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may those who believe also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me, I have given my disciples, so that they may be one, as you and I are one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”