Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts11,19-26; Resp. Psalm: Ps87,1-7;Gosp. Accl.: Jn10,27; Gospel: Jn10,22-30
God can bring good out of apparent evil. God has the capacity, and often so He has manifested it severally, to write on crooked lines. Sometimes in life, we do not understand why things are going the way they are. We grumble and lament. We imagine that God has abandoned us to our devices. But God is never absent. He is planning to bring the best out of our incomprehensible and baffling situation.
The nascent church was persecuted. The gruesome death of Stephen gave the enemies of the Church the boldness to seek it's end. Terrible persecutions arose against the church. This led to great sufferings and distress. The believers as a result were scattered. The word of God in today's 1st Reading said the believers travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch.
At first, the disciples only took the gospel to the Jews in these cities. But later, they started making tentative advances towards the gentiles of these cities and amazingly, these turned en masse to the gospel. The result was do impressive that the Church in Jerusalem, the headquarters of the Church at this time, sent Barnabas to Antioch. Then Barnabas exhorted them to be steadfast in the faith.
Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Paul, and brought him to Antioch where both preached and ministered the word for a whole year. Meanwhile, the Assembly of disciples in Antioch was already called church and the believers there were the first to be referred to as Christians, that is, the followers of Christ.
What a marvellous turn around of fortunes. What a wonderful way God reassured them of His never ending presence among them. Our Lord Himself assured them that He would never leave them alone. He had assured them that if they believed in Him, they would do greater works than Him because He was going back to the Father.
Today He told the Jews who inquired from Him if He was the Christ that the works He did in His Father's name bore witness to Him. He told them that His sheep heard His voice and they followed Him and He gave them eternal life and they shall never perish. He told them that the Father and Himself were one.
It is important for us to know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Nothing! All that we need to do is believe that He is near to us. That is all that is required. When we do that, life becomes so easy to go through, difficulties become moments of opportunities, near disasters become springboards of unimaginable blessings. Let us not ever forget that our Father keeps on working! Even in the midst of those incomprehensible situations, He keeps on working!
Let us pray: "Grant, we pray, almighty God, that celebrating the mysteries of the Lord's resurrection, we may merit to receive the joy of our redemption." Amen
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.