Searching for the Truth
Reading: Acts of the Apostles. 11: 19-26 'Those who had escaped during the persecution that happened because of Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, but they usually proclaimed the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, who came from Cyrpus and Cyrene, went to Antioch where they started preaching to the Greeks, proclaiming the Good News of the Lord Jesus to them as well. The Lord helped them, and a great number believed and were converted to the Lord. The church in Jerusalem heard about this and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. There he could see for himself that God had given grace, and this pleased him, and he urged them all to remain faithful to the Lord with heartfelt devotion; for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. And a large number of people were won over to the Lord. Barnaabas then left for Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. As things turned out they were to live together in that church a whole year, instructing a large number of people. It was at Antioch that the disciples were first called 'Christian.'
Reflection The Acts of the Apostles could be renamed, 'The Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles'. Here we see where those who had escaped the great persecution were undaunted and continued on their travels to preach the Good News. Initially the message was only shared with the Jews, however, its message of hope and love that cannot be contained but has to be shared with all people. The Greek community in Antioch were instructed and when they heard this wonderful message many believed and surrenderd their hearts to God. When Barnabas arrived he encouraged these new disciples to remain faithful to the Lord.
Today, many are searching for the truth and don't always know where to find it. As disciples of Jesus we have been filled with the Holy Spirit and are called to reach out and share the Gospel with all whom we enounter on our life journey. Through acts of kindness, prayer, compassionate listening and commitment to Gospel values both within our homes and public life, we bear witness to this Good News. We are asked to be God's messengers to the ends of the earth. Let us not be undaunted in our priviled task.