READINGS for 2009-06-11
WHAT’S IN A NAmE?
“The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” – Acts 11:26
During my new hire orientation at my new job, one of the things the facilitator kept on repeating to us is the name of our company and what we are called now that we are employees of this company. It was encouraging. It was like having a whole new identity attached to what I currently have. I suddenly felt elite. It’s not like every company has a “name” for their employees, right?
Thinking further, I realized there’s another name that is attached to my identity and it’s even better than my company’s name. It’s been attached to me since I was a baby, and it bears the name of the One who loves me so much.
What could be better than being called a Christian? Tina Matanguihan
Be proud of your name for you are bearing Christ’s!
Jesus, help me to live out and be proud of being one of Yours.
Barnabas had the privilege of introducing Paul to the other apostles and thus was instrumental in vouching for him and his ministry to the Gentiles. He also ministered with Paul for quite a time until they had a falling out. Yes, even apostles had relationship diffi culties. This is not an excuse for us to tolerate personality clashes, but it may be a good reality test for us as we have probably been part of them ourselves.
Acts 11:21b-26; 13: 1-3
21 In those days a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The news about them reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, 24 for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. 25 Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. 13: 1 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off.
P S A L M
Psalm 98:1. 2-3ab. 3cd-4. 5-6
R: The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. (R) 2 The LORD has made his salvation known in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. 3 He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. (R) All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. 4 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. (R) 5 Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the LORD. (R)
G O S P E L
Barnabas sought to give his all in the service of the Gospel and was eventually martyred probably on Cyprus during the reign of Nero. So many lives were given in martyrdom in the early few decades of the Church that any historian would be forced to ask himself what is it that compelled so many men and women to give their lives to it? We know the answer lies in the Gospel and the fact that God’s love is greater than anything else in the world. It is so great we are willing to die for it!
Matthew 10:7-13 (or Matthew 5:20-26)
7 Jesus said to the Twelve: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. 9 Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; 10 no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. 12 As you enter a house, wish it peace. 13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you.”
think: God’s love is greater than anything else in the world. It is so great we are willing to die for it!
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Psalm 100-104
We All must proclAim the Gospel
There is something comforting in the knowledge that we do not have responsibility for a particular task if and only if this is true. For too long now, it has been left to the minority to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Just contemplating the enormity of the task ought to be enough to convince us that such a job is a job for the many and not just a few people. The Church itself has not been all that successful in first recognizing this fact and then in acting upon it. For too long, the work of evangelization has been left to the priests and the religious. It is time for the laity to recognize the part they have to play in evangelizing the nations and to take it up. Many of the lay movements that are sprinkled across the globe are perhaps the first attempt to do this, but it is not enough. Only when every baptized Christian takes up his or her full baptismal responsibility and acts upon it will the task of bringing the Good News to the ends of the earth be possible. When Jesus commissions the 12 or the 72 it is not the number being commissioned that we should focus on, but the nature of the commission and how it is broadly based in the people being disciples of Jesus that gives them the power and privilege of proclaiming the Gospel in the name of Jesus.
The priesthood plays an essential role within the life of the Church; I do not foresee it disappearing altogether. However, the focus that the Church has put upon the priesthood is another matter altogether. Only when the clergy and laity can work together in harmony and unity will the full force of the power of the Gospel be unleashed into the world. Let us look to how each of us can play our part in doing this; let us never allow our focus be on “protecting our piece of turf” in the midst of the mission Jesus has given us. We ought to be beyond such silliness. Let us pray that we will take responsibility for what we have to offer in proclaiming the Good News of salvation to all men and women. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
In what ways do I proclaim the Gospel to others? How am I sharing the Good News to those I work with and encounter in my daily life?
Jesus, thank You for the gift of salvation. Help me to be willing to share this gift with all whom I meet.
St. Barnabas, Apostle, pray for us.
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