Today’s scripture selections remind us that God prefers what is earthy, namely us humans. In a few verses, Luke rehearsed the history of Saul who became Paul. God had chosen the former murderous enemy of the church to be God’s instrument for it. Yet the disciples, to whom Barnabas brought Saul, feared him. What they knew prevented them from believing God’s preference for Saul and God’s Spirit at work reshaping him into the Apostle to the Gentiles.
The church had moved away from its evangelical beginnings. It had come to see itself led by Jesus, then as the hierarchy and then the hierarchy leading the laity. The bishops gathered in Council 50 years ago began with that plan. As they prayed and discussed they set it aside in favor of teaching that the church is led by Jesus, who leads the People of God, and then naming how God’s people relate with the world and one another as hierarchy and laity. 1
- Continue to feel recreated by the life of our triune God.
- Ask St. Barnabas to present you to Jesus.
- Converse with Jesus, naming ways that you abide in him and ways that you separate yourself from him.
- Ask for the grace to join yourself to Jesus more completely.
- Close saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. Each time we pray it it helps us measure up to Jesus’ vision and to praise Jesus in deed and truth.
- The Second Vatican Council expressed the mystery of the vine and branches as Jesus, people of God and roles in the church in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen gentium). It expressed the church’s relationship with the world in its Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et spes).