Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord.
News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.
And a great many people were brought to the Lord.Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
One of the joys of Ignatian prayer is the invitation to use our imaginations–to experience the sights, smells, tastes, tactility, and sounds of Jesus’ world. We can see the paralytic rise from his mat, and we can feel Jesus’ cloak as the woman with hemorrhages reaches out to touch it. We can imagine the taste of the bread and wine used during the last supper, or the sound of a hammer driving nails into wood.
What does the voice of Jesus sound like? When do you most clearly hear it? Is it a human voice, one that speaks to you in words and phrases? Or, is it a metaphorical sound, a movement in the world around you? A recognition of light, beauty, goodness, and hope offered by a God who loves you? Something else?
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us that his sheep hear his voice, and in another passage, that those who have ears must hear. In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we receive the name of Christians. Let us remember that a Christian is one who listens for the voice of the good shepherd. In listening, we hear the voice of a friend —the call of Christ.
—Eric Immel, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin Province is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
“We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.”
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.