In our first reading today from Acts, we see Barnabas and Saul being “set apart” by the Holy Spirit and sent out to proclaim the Word of God. In the Gospel reading today from John 12, Jesus says, “I came into the world as light,” and “I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.” While Jesus has already done the saving part, we, too, must share in His mission, and bring others to the light.
The Holy Spirit said to the brothers, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” The Scriptures then tell us that “they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went…” I’d like for us to think about this notion of being “set apart.” Too often we think of others as being set apart. We’re nobody special. Just part of the crowd. Those “set apart” people are the chosen few…priests, nuns, deacons, etc.
Have you ever felt as though you were “set apart?” Honestly, I feel that way often in today’s world. By that I mean that I often feel like a fish out of water. The world tells us abortion is OK. That sex outside of marriage is fine. And on and on the list goes. And if you don’t go along, then you’re some kind of outcast; out on an island all alone. I often feel this way. But God tells us we need to stand up for the truth. In that light, you have, like Barnabas and Saul, been set apart. So don’t go along with the crowd! Stand apart!! Because you, too, have been set apart!
Father, we ask you to give us a new recognition of being set apart. Give us the grace and boldness to proclaim your Word everywhere we go. Amen.