The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s first reading on the feast of the apostle Barnabas celebrates the success of the apostles as they shared the gospel of Jesus in Antioch and across the ancient world. Note that it was in Antioch that Jesus’ followers were first called “Christians.” The energy in this passage is quite palpable as Barnabas and Saul and others are sent off to preach the life and mission of Jesus. As Acts reminds us, these early apostles were alive with the person and message of Jesus. And that message was contagious.
The obvious parallel these weeks of summer 2016: how are you and I alive with the gospel this summer? How do I work at strengthening relationships? At infusing my attitudes and actions with the values of Jesus? At sharing the gospel in practical ways as I walk “my world” each day?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
“Our stories are ladders that make it easier for us to touch the stars.”
—Donovan Livingston, M.Ed. May 2016, Harvard UniversityPlease share the Good Word with your friends!