4th Week of Easter (A) : Saturday 6th May 2023

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Lord, help me to bear witness to our faith by the way I Iive

4th Week of Easter (A) : Saturday 6th May 2023

Acts 13:44-52; Ps. 97:1,2-4;
Jn. 14:7-14 (Ps. Wk. IV)

The reading from Acts today happened during Paul’s First Missionary Journey (A.D. 46-48) at Antioch (in Pisidia). In an earlier Sabbath, Paul and Barnabas had been invited by the synagogue rulers to “address some words of encouragement to the congregation” (v 15). Paul took this opportunity to share about Jesus. The people responded by urging them “to continue this preaching the following Sabbath” (v 42).

On the next Sabbath, “almost the whole town assembled to hear the Word of God” (v 44). The Jews, when they saw the crowds, “prompted by jealousy, used blasphemies and contradicted everything Paul said” (v 45). They turned the leading men and women of the city against the missionaries and expelled them from Antioch (v 50).

How did Paul and Barnabas respond? They spoke boldly about their responsibility to “proclaim the Word of God” to the Jews first (as God’s covenant people). However, since they rejected it (the Word of God), “they must turn to the pagans” (v 46). They highlighted that they were “commanded” by God to be “a light for the nations” so that God’s salvation may reach the ends of the earth” (v 47; Is 49:6). On hearing this, the Gentiles were “very happy … and thanked the Lord” (v 48). They were “filled with joy and the Holy Spirit” (v 52) and “spread the Word of the Lord through the whole countryside” (v 49).

As “Gentiles” who have received the Good News!

Lord, may we bear witness to our faith by how we live. Amen.

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