In the first reading today from Acts 11, we read about the rapid spread of the faith. In the Gospel reading from John 10, the Jews become impatient with Jesus, saying to Him, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus’ answer continues with the theme of sheep: “But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.”
In those early days, the Church was growing by leaps and bounds. The number of believers continued to grow as disciples were taking the Gospel message out into the world. In the first reading today, we see how it was important that the Apostles were made aware of the spread of the Church. They send Barnabas from Jerusalem to Antioch to pay the new faithful a visit. The Scripture tells us, “When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart.”
Barnabas rejoiced when he saw the grace of God at work in the lives of these new Christians. Now, it doesn’t describe what he saw or how they acted. It only tells us that he saw the grace of God. But that bears a question: What does that look like? What were the people doing or saying that exhibited the grace of God? Does it look the same today as it did then? Would you know it when you see it? Would other people be able to know it and see it if they looked at your life? I believe that God’s grace if flowing abundantly always. But do we see it?
Father, we thank you for your grace in our lives. May we always recognize your grace at work in our lives, and in the lives of others. Amen.