Page 68 - Easter2012v3

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Acts of the Apostles 16: 1-10
Psalm 100:1B-2, 3, 5
John 15: 18-21
Today's reading from the Acts of the Apostles recounts the beginning of Paul's
second missionary journey. His itinerary on this mission takes him into Derbe and
Lystra, Phyrgia, Galatia, Mysia and Troas and then into Macedonia. The message
of the gospel is truly becoming universal! But John's gospel selection today re-
minds us that the going is not always easy. Anyone brave enough to speak the
gospel message can expect rejection, hatred -- even persecution.
For the past several weeks in the readings from the Acts of the Apostles, we have
heard of the missionary adventures of the apostles and their disciples as they
have embarked on their own missionary journey. We have also heard the mes-
sage of Jesus in the gospel assuring his disciples that he has chosen them and
will be there to support them. Their mission will not fail. We are rapidly approach-
ing the feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, when all those who have
been baptized into Christ Jesus are empowered to go forth on our own mission-
ary journey.
For the past several days we have heard that we are to love one another as Jesus
has loved us; that if we live in His love, our joy will be complete; that we are the
branches and he is the vine; that peace is Jesus' farewell gift to us. That sounds
so positive and encouraging. Today we are beginning to hear a much different
message: identifying with Jesus and taking His message out into the world will
definitely not be easy and will almost certainly result in rough going, rejection and
It's not easy to identify completely with Jesus. He accepted each and every per-
son regardless of their ethnicity, social standing, gender, political affiliation or
human weakness. He certainly challenged hypocrites and those with an inflated