Paul and Barnabas went back through Lystra and Iconium to Antioch. They put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith. ‘We all have to experience many hardships’ they said ‘before we enter the kingdom of God.’ In each of these churches they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
They passed through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. Then after proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia and from there sailed for Antioch, where they had originally been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
On their arrival they assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans.
First reading for the 5th Sunday of Easter
Paul and Barnabas speak as witnesses when it comes to hardships. They speak of that which they know.
But they speak also of the promises of God, even now being fulfilled among hardships in the building up of the community of faith.
- What hardships do you face?
- What joys?
Sacred Heart, Aston. (c) 2016, Allen Morris