THE OPENING OF THE COVENANT TO ALL MANKIND
Paul’s first gesture in the capital city of the Empire and also his last words, documented in the Acts of the Apostles, were aimed at launching – once more – an appeal to the Jews. He did so in the same manner as in his earlier Letter to the Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, and then Greek” (Rom. 1:16). In this way, at the conclusion of his mission, the man whom the Lord had chosen as Apostle to the Nations did not want to forget even the “least brothers of mine” (Mt. 25:40), “for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear these chains” (Acts 28:20). He launched his final and vibrant appeal to the “conversion” of his people, to the radical change of life he had come to know. In Christ, God’s Covenant is now open to all people. His final words did not mean the end of Paul, for on the contrary, Christianity and the Good News spread to all the ends of the earth due to his great witness to the Risen One, in whose image Paul became a “Light of the Nations” (Is. 49:6; Acts 13:47).