FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fourth Saturday of Easter Time
May 18, 2019
WORD of the DAY
On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said. Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.’ (Acts 13: 44-48)
How shall I live this Word?
This text speaks of the exultation of those in Antioch (present-day Turkey) who chose to listen to the Words of the Lord, which Paul (the great convert) was proclaiming together with Barnabas. A large number of people (almost the whole city) gathered to hear the Word that came from the Lord. it is interesting that, as often happens, instead of rejoicing in this triumph of truth, the Jews “were filled with jealousy”. This ignoble sentiment unleashed in them a barrage of insults against Paul and Barnabas, believing they could shut off the road to the light of the Word.
Attention to how Paul and Barnabas reacted! Free from all timidity, fear or indifference, they proclaimed to all their decision: to go to the pagans. They did it for a very clear reason: they, the Israelites, could have been the first to welcome the living wave of the Mystery of Jesus, the bearer of salvation. No, because of their evil jealousy, here they are expelling Paul and Barnabas in a bad way, thus aggravating their situation: that of remaining slaves of their own error and covering the luminous road on which Paul and Barnabas walked with insults and wickedness.
Lord, it is sometimes difficult to recognize in ourselves the presence of envy and jealousy. Yet how many sins, even mortal, are caused by these two ‘poisonous weeds’ in the soil of our passions! Help us to be very true, loyal, and sincere with ourselves. Lord You see and You love us infinitely, help us to walk free, in Your true light.
The Voice of Leonardo da Vinci, Scientist, Artist
The man was very envious of the great quantity of nuts he saw on his neighbor’s tree. He decided to do the same, and loaded his with so many, that the weight of the nuts uprooted the tree and it crashed onto the flat ground.
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