A reading from the Acts of the Apostles 14:5-18
There was an attempt in Iconium by both the Gentiles and the Jews, together with their leaders, to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas. They realized it, and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding countryside, where they continued to proclaim the Good News.
At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth, who had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him, saw that he had the faith to be healed, and called out in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet.” He jumped up and began to walk about. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in human form.” They called Barnabas “Zeus” and Paul “Hermes,” because he was the chief speaker. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.
The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, “Men, why are you doing this? We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways; yet, in bestowing his goodness, he did not leave himself without witness, for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts.” Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.
REFLECTION: He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him, saw that he had the faith to be healed, and called out in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet.”
The life and death of each of us has its influence on others.
We are walking miracles exploding in the desire to share God with everyone we meet. We are merely human beings but we can proclaim God by showing others His love: Reminding them of God through His creation- the world's beauty, the creativity of many through their words, songs, deeds and the care of God in giving us the seasons, the air we breath, our nutrition --our life!
God promises to renew us --He will bring us back to Him if we just so desire this. Ask your Father for this promise.
We have but one life and this race that we are in must end with victory as our finish line. But it is not a competitive race, but a race where we help one another love God so much that once we make it home, we can enjoy Him even more.
Thanking our priests for bringing us Jesus at Mass. And maybe one day we will have the faith to be healed and hear, “Stand up straight on your feet.”
God Bless You