Reflection: God works miracles through his servants. Those who see the miracles might see them as gods, or trample them. Have you been praised or mocked because of your faith? Where did you find the strength to get back up?
Prayer: Paul and Barnabas were missionaries who proclaimed the Christian faith courageously. Ask God for courage so that the presence of God can be made manifest through signs and miracles.
Action: Live out Paul's spirit of “standing up straight”. When faced with a difficult situation, pull yourself together and move on to face a new challenge.
Acts of the Apostles
Paul and Barnabas at Iconium.
1 In Iconium they entered the Jewish synagogue together and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks came to believe, 2 although the disbelieving Jews stirred up and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against the brothers. 3 So they stayed for a considerable period, speaking out boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the word about his grace by granting signs and wonders to occur through their hands. 4 The people of the city were divided: some were with the Jews; others, with the apostles. 5 When there was an attempt by both the Gentiles and the Jews, together with their leaders, to attack and stone them,b 6they realized it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding countryside, 7 where they continued to proclaim the good news.
Paul and Barnabas at Lystra.
8 At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth, who had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him, saw that he had the faith to be healed, 10 and called out in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet.” He jumped up and began to walk about. 11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in human form.” 12 They called Barnabas “Zeus” and Paul “Hermes,” because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.
14 The apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, 15 “Men, why are you doing this? We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God, ‘who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.' 16 In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways; 17 yet, in bestowing his goodness, he did not leave himself without witness, for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts.” 18 Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.
19 However, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium arrived and won over the crowds. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered around him, he got up and entered the city. On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
End of the First Mission.
21 After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. 22 They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” 23 They appointed presbyters for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith. 24 Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. 25 After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now accomplished. 27 And when they arrived, they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 Then they spent no little time with the disciples.
Teaching from Fr. Francis Ching (Traditional and Simplified Chinese subtitles are available):
Source: Chinese Martyrs Catholic Church (Toronto) – Bible Study Program – 2006-2007 – Edmond Lo
- Holy Orders come from God. Clergy is established by the Apostolic Church instead of a democratic process. It is not consensus that offers a basis for the truth, but the truth that offers one for consensus
Acts of the Apostles
Paul and Barnabas at Iconium. / Paul and Barnabas at Lystra. / End of the First Mission.
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