The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
Both readings today reveal occasions that call out for reconciliation. Acts shows the situation in Antioch where Jews who have accepted the word show antipathy to the Gentiles, the non-Jews, who are accepting it as well. The Gospel presents the nonbelieving sheep and the believers. The non-believers demand that Jesus “tell them plainly” if he is the Messiah or not. Jesus tells them he has already told them and they do not believe. How to bring these two differing sides together? Through the example of love. Seeing can become believing. In Acts, Barnabas, sent to Antioch by the Jerusalem Jews to check things out, sees the grace of God in the behavior of the newly named Christians. He rejoices, and encourages them all – both Jews and Gentiles – to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart – in loving. In the Gospel, Jesus says, “Look at the works I do” – look at the love I show – and listen to me. Follow me and no one can take you from my hand or the Father’s hand. We are one, and you can be one. Today, let us allow God to use us as instruments of his love especially in those situations where enmity and fear divide us.
Sr. Barbara Schlatter, C.PP.S.