It is quite a jump from Acts, Ch. 5 which we looked at last week to today’s reading from Ch. 13
The Church is trying to give an overview of what happened in the early Church - and so great chunks have to be missed out (though there is nothing to stop you reading the missing bits on your own!)
Today, we meet Paul for the first time. He has begun to travel with his companions - here Barnabas - to the Jewish Communities around the Roman world to speak to them about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
It was assumed that, as the Chosen People, the Jews would welcome the Good News but, to may of them, it was blasphemy and was rejected.
Paul sees in this a sign that the Good News is to be preached to the pagans - who welcome the Good News as the way to eternal life.
Inevitably, jealousy and power-play continue and, in the end, Paul and Barnabas are expelled from the area. They do not leave as people who have lost, however - they shake the dust off their feet as an act of defiance - and go to take the Good News to where it will be better received.
In a way, it is good to know that even the greatest of the apostles did not have it all that easy. We are often told that we are to be evangelisers - spreading the Good News - and yet, so often, as soon as we try, we meet ridicule or a total lack of interest.
Perhaps we need to have a little of Paul and Barnabas’s confidence. They knew the value of what they were offering and, if others did not, they did not let it diminish them - or what they were knew to be true.
If we see our faith and its promise of eternal life as special - like a pearl of great price, we might be able to speak of it with more assurance. We will want to share it - but may not take it so personally if it is rejected.
We can share Jesus’ words - “If only you knew what I was offering to you”
Even though we know that like Him - like Paul - we won’t please everybody all the time - it won’t stop us trying to share our Good News.
What does it
mean for me?
© 2011, Wellspring