Today’s first reading from Acts 16 shows Paul and Silas being flogged and imprisoned in Philippi in Macedonia, and then being miraculously released during an earthquake. The passage is remarkable for two reasons. First, the narrative reflects traditional Christian and Jewish antipathy to suicide, as Paul stops the jailer from killing himself in remorse. Secondly, it’s the first example in the New Testament of a whole family and household converting to Christianity and being baptised – including children, so it’s traditionally seen as justification for the practice of infant baptism in the Catholic Church. A good day to pray for families who have had to defer the baptism of children because of Covid-19; and also for those contemplating suicide at this time.
Today is the anniversary of our former parish priest Monsignor Peter Strand RIP.