Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tuesday word, 01 May 2007

4Easter Tuesday (01 May 2007) Ac 11. 19-26; Ps 87; Jn 10. 22-30
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Not Alone But As One

If you take from the Easter masses you and I have celebrated these weekdays, or if you take from this homily only this fact--the Acts of the Apostles is Luke’s portrait of the church growing from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth--you will possess a kernel of scripture-truth, and I will be happy.

Luke expressed this kernel, his purpose, in chapter 1, verse 8, from the mouth of Jesus, who told his apostles before he ascended, “...you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Imagine yourself in Jerusalem, the center of it all: where salvation was accomplished in Jesus and from where the great news of his salvation would travel.

No one could do that alone. And no one could do that unless God validated their witness of the crucified and risen Messiah Jesus.

To validate their witness is precisely what Luke meant by the phrase, the hand of the Lord was with them.

As Christianity spread northwest into Syrian Antioch, Peter sent Barnabas to encourage its growth and life. Many from Cyprus settled in that city. Barnabas, Luke reminded us when he appeared in Acts, was from Cyprus. Barnabas was a perfect person for Peter to send!

To whom does God send us? To be sent, to be missioned by God does not always mean traveling long distances. To be on mission means to represent Jesus’ way wherever and with whomever we find ourselves. For Luke earth’s end was Rome. For Paul earth’s end was Spain. Everywhere they were in each present moment was their mission to witness to the risen Lord. The only difference for us is discerning how Holy Spirit visits us and empowers us to witness by our ways of living.
Wiki-photo of St. Barnabas used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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