In today’s first reading, Acts 11: 19-26, we learn that those who had been scattered by the persecution that followed the murder of Stephen did not cowl in fear but went forth to other places to proclaim “the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them,” the author of Acts, tells us, and “a great number who believed turned to the Lord.” Barnabas was sent to Antioch and, when he arrived, he “saw the grace of God,” and rejoiced and encouraged the people to whom he had been sent to “remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart.”
Wow! What testimony! What courage! And what a commitment to the Lord God! Would you and I, I ask, after witnessing a disciple of the Lord being stoned to death and fleeing persecution continue to “proclaim the Lord Jesus”? Would we, in arriving at a new city/town/country recognize “the grace of God” working in strangers? Do we recognize God at work in those with whom we live? Within those with whom we worship each Sunday? Within our co-workers?
May we, every day, take time to reflect upon the Scriptures of the daily liturgy, or any other Scripture or spiritually-uplifting reading. Doing so, we will grow in our awareness of God at work in others, and in ourselves. We will awaken our ability to rejoice and encourage others in their faith development and in using their faith to bring others to Jesus!