Bring a Friend to Jesus | Season of Joy

Season of Joy

Today's Season of Joy reflection on Acts 12:24-13:5a is by Fr. Robert Sherry.

Father Robert was ordained a priest for Rockford Diocese in 1966. He served in several parishes and schools and as Vocations Director. He founded Church of Holy Apostles in 1989; served with USCCB and as Chaplain at Dynamic Catholic Institute and Cruise ships; and still serves many weekends with Cross Catholic Outreach.

Bring a Friend to Jesus

from Acts 12:24-13:5a

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them.”
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.

To read the full scripture passage, please visit: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/051122.cfm

Dear friends, Ash Wednesday was ten weeks ago. We have journeyed six weeks during Lent and now four weeks more into the Easter season.

We have been exposed to lots of great Catholic teaching and spiritual adventures during these 70 days: the fasting, the abstaining and almsgiving of Lent, the ups and downs of Holy Week, the glory of the surprising resurrection and the wonders of the empty tomb.

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John all conclude with the Risen Jesus instructing His disciples to: “Go and make disciples of all the nations,” or “Feed my sheep.”

But Luke ends his Gospel with Jesus telling the Apostles to “Stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Ah, for Luke, the awesome Holy Spirit is yet to come. According to today’s reading from the Luke’s Acts of the Apostles, “The Word of God continued to spread and grow.”

In these 12th and 13th chapters of Acts, the new names of many more unfamiliar prophets and teachers appear in the town of Antioch: Barnabas and Saul, John called Mark, Symeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen and Saul.

Are you willing to add your name to the list of missionaries of the word of God?

Do you consider yourself a prophet or teacher?

I hope you can, and do! If not you? Who?

Jesus does not expect us to entrust sharing the Good News to some other stranger. Each day when you hear the Word of God in the scripture reading, please try to select one sentence or one phrase that you feel God is speaking directly to you that day.

Begin by asking the most important daily question: “God, what do you want me to do today?” Then listen, listen to God’s response in the reading. Chew on it, think about it as it pertains to your life.

First ask, “God, what do You want me to do today?”

Then listen, and ask for the grace to act on God’s response.

Then as God’s disciple, God’s prophet, God’s missionary, go about your daily life, looking for that opportunity, or those opportunities, to do what God asks of you each day.

Recall a story about St Francis. One of the Brothers in his monastery noticed how great a preacher was Francis. The Brother wanted to learn from the master.

So one day the Brother asked Francis to teach him to preach, to enthuse people about God’s kingdom.

Francis agreed and told the Brother that his first lesson would be the next day. Francis asked the brother to meet him at the front gate at sunrise.

As agreed, they met. They greeted Brother Sun and each other, and Francis said they would take a walk in the village of Assisi.

Shortly they came upon a beggar, and Francis called the beggar by name, spoke with him, gave the beggar a few coins and continued on his way.

In a little while they came to an elderly widow who had fallen down. Francis knelt down with her, helped treat and bandage her wounds, gave her some bread and continued on his way, with the Brother following after.

Soon Francis stopped again to settle a raging dispute between two persons. He prayed over them, blessed them and brought them to peace.

Well, getting impatient for his lesson in preaching, the Brother approached Francis and asked him: “Brother Francis, when will you begin my lesson on preaching?”

Francis smiled at the Brother and said, “What do you think I have been doing?

Jesus’ greatest teaching and preaching was in His care for the poor, the hungry, the wounded and the sinner. Caring for others is the best preaching we can do.

Preach like this whenever you can, and only sometimes will you need to use words.”

So, are you a disciple, a prophet, a missionary? What is Jesus asking you to preach about today?

When we get to the Pearly Gates, I think God will ask each of us two questions: First, “Did you have a good time?”

And then second, “How many people did you recruit for My Kingdom?”

Recall, Jesus recruited only twelve, and of the twelve it seems only one was with Him at the time of His greatest agony.

The message for me today is the first line of that First Reading: “The Word of God continued to spread and grow.”

And I know it is up to me and you.

What phrase or sentence is God asking you to chew on today?

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