From the Word of the Day
The two of them sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.
(Acts 13: 4-5)
Who are those sent by God that go down to Seleucia? Here we are speaking of Barnabas and Saul. Barnabas realizes the goodness of this new experience and what is happening in Antioch and remains with them. He goes to Tarsus to find Paul and together they stay a year in Antioch. Then there follows a time in Jerusalem to live, pray, and speak with the Apostles. The return to Antioch allows them to meet their old friends and new ones. Among them there is also Lucio of Cyrene, probably the evangelist Luke. The Acts are the story of how the Word of God, which is no longer there in Jesus’ physical presence, is alive and spreads everywhere to arrive at every person, to the confines of the world. It cannot be stopped.
Paul and Barnabas go to Cypress and then to Persia, and even to Turkey. This is what we now call the first voyage of Paul. For now, it is Barnabas who leads the expedition, the wise one who guides a small group to which John Mark also belongs, the author of the first written Gospel. These are the giants of the first Christian Community who knew how to put their personal resources at the disposition of the Word. They used their finances, their strength, their culture and faith and even their temperaments and different viewpoints of the world and thus allowed the Gospel to be listened to and enculturated in multiple situations.
Lord, these authors witnessed to Your Kingdom and show us how right it is to evangelize. Give us their freedom of spirit to act with love and express clearly the beauty of Your newness without interpreting it only as new laws to respect and in rules to observe.
The Voice of Pope Francis
The new evangelization is a renewed movement toward those who have lost the faith and the deep meaning of life. The Son of God came out of His divine condition and came to meet us. So too, every Christian is called to go out to meet others, to dialogue with those who think differently from us; to those who have another faith; or have no faith. Meet everyone because we all have in common being created in the image and likeness of God. We can meet everyone without fear and without renouncing our belonging.