April 17, 2016 — Fourth Sunday of Easter
It is not easy being Christian and Catholic in today’s world. Our society, because of the critical nature of the media in large part, tends to view people of faith and morals with some distrust. That is a challenge for us.
Paul and Barnabas experience something similar in today’s First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. The people of Antioch in Pisidia “expel (them) from the territory.” No one likes or appreciates rejection. It is humiliating and discouraging. There may be times in our own lives when we follow firmly our Catholic beliefs and experience something similar. However, like Paul and Barnabas, we need to become even more determined in our desire to be a Disciple of the Lord.
In their case, they moved on to Iconium and continued their ministry and their message. In fact, Holy Scripture adds, “The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” We, too, need to seek that joy and to understand that we have been blessed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Blessed Mother Teresa said, “Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.” Like Paul and Barnabas, and Mother Teresa, we need to seek and utilize God’s strength.