Monday 8 May 2023

About Today Readings

Acts 14:5-18. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory – Psalm 113B(115):1-4, 15-16. John 14:21-26.

Never pass up an opportunity to preach the Good News

In the reading from Acts, we continue on the missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas. In Lystra, Paul heals a cripple. The crowd, seeing this wonder, believes that the disciples are Greek gods in human form. Barnabas is named Zeus, and Paul is Hermes. They tell the crowds they are simply humans with the message of the Good News to all nations. They beseech them to turn from idolatry to the love of the Lord. The crowd does not want to hear these words and Paul is stoned.

This episode is a reminder that sometimes messages can be misinterpreted, perhaps because of wilfulness or lack of understanding. We know that Paul and Barnabas were speaking to pagans whose worldview was Hellenistic and polytheistic. They did not have a context for understanding the God of the Jews and the monotheism of the covenant.

Sometimes our Christian message may be misunderstood, challenged or derided. We may be metaphorically stoned. This is when we need to keep going, as Paul and Barnabas did, as they continued on their journey strengthening souls and opening a door of faith for the Gentiles.

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