When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.
The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely.
Reflection. Paul is on the way to Rome. He has appealled that the charges against him are heard at the highest level; heard by the Emperor himself. This was Paul's right as a Roman Citizen There has been a big storm at sea. Everyone has survived the storm. Yet, some soldiers planned to kill the prisoners leat they escape whilst getting ashore. Their Centurion stopped that's happening.
God's plan was for the gospel to be preached in Rome. Not even a storm, threats of death or a shipwreck was going to stop this happen. Today Paul is on Malta. Tomorrow, in the story, Paul gets to Rome.
Ponder the journey we have been on through the book of the Acts of the Apostles; the work of the Holy Spirit; the initial opening up of the gospel to non Jews through St Peter; the spread of the Good News throughout Asia Minor; the conversion of St Paul; three missionary journeys. One month or so for us. Actually, something over 25 years for the nascient church of Jesus Christ. The climax is tomorrow.
Prayer. Lord Jesus, thank you for this wonderful testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit and the Apostles. Thank you for their faithfulness, and for yours. Amen.