From the Word of the Day
From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.
(Acts 13: 13)
The voyage has just begun. From Cyprus, the missionary group of Antioch goes to Turkey. Something happened among them to the point that John Mark, the future evangelist, goes back. We do not know much and Luke does not dwell on this but states it without comment.
However, it is a setback that will have great consequences. In fact, when Barnabas proposes John Mark for the second voyage, Paul will be very stubborn and will break ties forever even with Barnabas.
The primitive Church faces complex situations with the gifts and limitations of those called. Sometimes we think that communion and fraternal life are equivalent to perfect relationships; that they always function without difficulties, allowing persons to be ever in agreement on everything, without ever being domineering. People who fight scandalize us. We get scandalized and we immediately express a value judgment that often clips the wings of the project that is developing in the name of an empty mannerism that is only a formality, with neither energy nor substance.
Lord, grant that hypocrisy may never put us in the position of appreciating only what is apparently perfect. Help us to honestly seek what is best in each case, without falling into an ephemeral human respect that anesthetizes every authentic movement and attempt at evangelization.
The Voice of D. Bonhoeffer, Lutheran Theologian and Martyr
The treasure hidden in the field comes at a high price; for love of it, a man goes and sells all he has with joy; the precious pearl bought by the merchant who sells all he has. The Lordship of Christ leads one to remove his eye if it causes scandal and the call of Jesus Christ leads the disciple to leave his nets to follow Him.
A grace of high price is the Gospel which we must ever seek again; the gift that we always keep on asking for; the door at which we must continually knock. At high price is the call to follow. It is a grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is of high price because we acquire it at the cost of our very life. It is a grace because precisely it is in this way we give our life. It is high because it condemns sin; it is grace because it justifies the sinner.