They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, leaving him there for dead. His disciples quickly formed a circle about him, and before long he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
Blind prejudice is a terrible thing to behold. In the reading from Acts we see people who considered themselves good Jews, defending their faith by attacking and injuring Paul. While it is true that Paul was delivering the kind of message that flew in the face of the beliefs of the time the unwillingness of those who came against Paul to even listen to the wonderful new message that he bore. It is even more difficult to believe when we recall that he and Barnabas had just arrived from Lystra where they had cured a crippled man. Even faced with that wonder these men refused to believe.
It begs the question then, what does it take to convince a person that a new wonder is before us? What does it take to make us realize that there is a new way of perceiving that which is factually before us? Perhaps it takes a leap of faith, after all, not all of us are thrown to the ground and blinded to get the point across to us as happened to Paul! Are we then able to place our trust in those who have encountered the divine, who have received the true word? If we have, can we then put that new knowledge into practice by the way we live in our world? Perhaps we do not have to “reinvent the wheel” of our faith. Maybe all we need to do is take a chance, believe…..and then act.
Rev. Gary Luiz C.PP.S.