The word of God continued to spread and grow. After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission,they returned to Jerusalem, taking with them John, who is called Mark. Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off. So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived in Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.
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
Just a week ago we read about Saul’s (Paul’s) role in the martyrdom of Stephen. Today we hear how the Holy Spirit chooses Saul to proclaim the good news in Salamis. What an improbable and complete change in Saul’s life and relationship with God! Paul believes in Jesus so strongly that his whole life is changed. He no longer persecutes believers in Jesus, but actually travels the world to convince people they should believe in Jesus.
What does it mean to believe in someone, to really believe? I think it means to totally trust a person, to unreservedly count on a person, and to love a person with certain knowledge that love is returned unconditionally. To make this more concrete for myself, I remember the absolute trust and love I felt as a child with my parents.
I ask myself, what will it take for me to believe, trust, count on and love Jesus to the point I am willing to follow the Holy Spirit wherever that may lead?
—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.
Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me. Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me.
Break me, melt me, Mold me, fill me, Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me.
—Daniel Iverson, 1926Please share the Good Word with your friends!