The message of salvation...
Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (May 12, 2019): ACTS 13:14,43-52; PS 100:1-2,3,5; REV 7:9,14-17; JN 10:27-30
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
On this Sunday we find Paul and Barnabas preaching the word of God in a synagogue in Antioch. By the following Sabbath, they drew nearly the whole city to hear their message.
But jealousy and anger drove some prominent members of the Jewish community to turn against the disciples’ zealous teaching. In response Paul and Barnabas proclaimed that they would offer Christ’s gift of redemption to Gentiles. “For so the Lord has commanded us, I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.… The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord.… And the word of the Lord continued to spread” (Acts 13:47-48).
God created every human being to live with Him for all eternity. But we have been given free will and must make our own decision to want and seek heaven. We can reject our Lord’s generosity or embrace it. We can lead lives of faith and goodness, sharing His hope and mercy with our brothers and sisters, or we can focus on self-centered desires in the here and now. Even though the two Paul and Barnabas were banished from the town, they were filled with joy and continued to spread the truth of Jesus’ life and love wherever they went and to whomever they met. Today we have the opportunity to preach the Gospel with our own lives as well.