Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. 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.
In today’s first reading we get an idea of one thing for which the early Christians were known: their faithfulness “to the Lord [and] steadfast devotion” (Acts 11:23). But we also know sometimes this is difficult. Like many of Jesus’ contemporaries we would like Jesus to “tell us plainly” (Jn. 10:23) where he is and what he’s doing! It’s hard to have faith in someone who so often – in the world and in our lives – feels absent. So where are we to find Jesus in these moments? Today’s Gospel (Jn 10:22-30) provides us with one sort of answer: “The works I do in my Father’s name” – the small loving acts of those around us, the beauty of creation, the history of God’s many gifts to us – “testify to me” (Jn. 10:25). In these small moments God does speak to those practiced in hearing his voice.
Practice: Every time you witness even the smallest love or beauty today, thank God for His ongoing work in the world.
Prayer: Jesus, help me to listen today for your voice whenever and however you chose to speak.
—Erin Kast, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!