Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts12,24-13,5; Resp. Psalm: Ps67,2-3,5-6,8; Gosp. Accl.: Jn8,12; Gospel: Jn12,44-50
The Apostles and early disciples lived by the Spirit. The Spirit was their Teacher and Counsellor. The Spirit was their guide and guardian, setting the boundaries for them, clarifying their doubts, enlightening and directing them every step of the way.
As a result of their closeness to the Spirit, the word of God that they preached grew and multiplied. Countless souls came to submit to the authority and lordship of Jesus. Their mission became exceedingly successful far beyond their wildest imagination because they did not see it as their own.
They never appropriated the mission for them selves. They never went into it for selfish gains or for filthy lucre. They were seduced by the power of the presence of the Risen Lord and they responded generously to such over conquering love with their entire being.
As a result of their total gift of themselves, the Spirit used them and gave them different roles to perform: prophets, teachers, preachers and so on. This was true of the Church at Antioch that had the privilege of the presence of such great Apostles and preachers like Paul and Barnabas. The believers were of one heart and soul.
They prayed, they fasted, they worshipped God in Spirit and truth, they broke bread and gave thanks, listened to the direction of the Spirit for what needed to be done and proclaimed the word of God with uncommon zest and passion. Because they were not mere preachers but more importantly witnesses who lived by the word they preached, they brought souls into subjection to Jesus.
They believed totally in the words and teachings of their Master. The word of the Master was law. The word of the Master was their rule of life and the "shaper" of their conduct. They held on to the teaching of the Master who said He came as light into the world, that whoever believes in Him may not remain in darkness.
They believed in the Lord who said He had not come to judge the world but to save the world. They trusted in the Master who did not speak of His own authority but who said what the Father who sent Him asked Him to say and speak. They held on to the words of the Lord who declared that His Father's commandment is eternal life.
Just as our Lord said what He was bidden by the Father to say, the Apostles and disciples said what they were bidden by Jesus to say. Because of their obedience to the commands of their Master, their mission bore stupendous fruits. We are called to that same obedience to the words and commands of our Master and Lord.
We are called to that docility, that humility to accept the word and share our convictions on it with others. It is only when we do that that our lives begin to have real meaning. When we allowed ourselves to be led by the word and make it the rule of our lives, then we become real witnesses and we become enabled to win souls for the kingdom.
Let us pray: "O God, life of the faithful, glory of the humble, blessedness of the just, listen kindly to the prayers of those who call on you, that they who thirst for what you generously promise, may always have their fill of your plenty." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.