The Council of Jerusalem takes place to determine if the Gentiles who are becoming believers in Christ must adopt Jewish practice. This debate is intense and challenges the early Church, yet it inspires us to recognize that conflicts are part of life and must be embraced if we are to find a path forward in faith.
Paul, having been stoned and left for dead, doesn’t quit. Instead he keeps going and inspires us to recognize that while hardship is part of our spiritual life, Christ will give us the strength we need to carry on.
Paul and Barnabas, proclaiming the Gospel with power, are mistaken for pagan gods after a miraculous healing. Their humble response reminds us to keep our eyes fixed on Christ as we carry out the Lord’s work in the world.
The First Letter of Peter reminds us that we are living stones, “chosen and precious in the sight of God…built into a spiritual house…to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God.” May these words inspire us to cherish the gift of our lives as we unite together to give praise and glory to the Lord.
As the number of believers grows in Antioch, Paul faces hostility and opposition. His experience reminds us to follow the Lord with all our heart, knowing that there will be challenges, but God will work through what we say and do.
Following the Scripture readings in the synagogue in Antioch, Paul connects salvation history to Jesus, showing how Christ fulfills the Old Testament. May this passage inspire us to learn more about our faith, so that we can share it with the people in our lives.
On this Feast of St. Philip and St. James, we hear about the many people who gave personal witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There example inspires us to seek out ways that we can offer our own individual testimony of the Good News today.
Following the persecution of Stephen, the disciples travel and proclaim the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles. More people are joining the Church, and new believers are taking the initiative to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.