The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul.Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread throughout the region. But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region.
So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Paul and Barnabas made a great missionary team. Their travels took them all over Greece and Asia Minor where they were often misunderstood, persecuted, and expelled from various towns. Yet they found both grace and courage to “shake the dust from their feet” as they continued to spread the word about Jesus, alive and risen. Think of the problems they faced: meeting new communities, finding lodging and food, dealing with challenge and hostility, overcoming discouragement. Wherever they traveled, they did so with the assurance of Jesus that “whatever you ask me in my name, I will do.”
Perhaps this weekend offers a helpful moment to reflect on my own journey of faith:
–What steps do I take to nurture this faith? –Whom do I rely on as companions along the road? –Do others recognize the face of Jesus in my words and deeds: My neighbors? My co-workers? Those I live with? –What do I ask today in the name of Jesus?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Jesus Christ, may your death be my life, and in your dying may I learn how to live. May your struggles be my rest, your human weakness my courage, your embarrassment my honor, your passion my delight, your sadness my joy. In a word, may I find all my blessings in your trials.
—St. Pierre Favre, S.J.Please share the Good Word with your friends!