Posted by: frburke23 | May 4, 2015

Thought for Tuesday, 5th Week of Easter

Acts 14:19-28

In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium
arrived and won over the crowds.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.
But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city.
On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the Church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

=========================================

I was struck as I read this passage from the Acts of the Apostles.  They stoned Paul, dragged him out of the city and left him for dead.  His fellow disciples gathered around him and he went right back to spreading the Good News.   Wow!   Could I be that brave?

That sounds like a championship heavyweight boxer who gets knocked down and keeps getting up.  But this is something more incredible!  Paul literally had stones thrown at him!  This was not a sport.  This is a man that people hated for the message that he was preaching.  He knew that if he continued preaching Jesus’ name, he most likely would die.  This is a man full of the Holy Spirit and nothing was going to stop him from sharing the news of Jesus Christ raised from the dead.  Pleasing God and fulfilling his mission on earth was much more important than even saving his earthly life.  Paul encouraged everyone by saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” 

It had to be such an exciting time in the early Church.  With zeal they traveled about preaching the Good News, setting up leaders in the community and then they went to another community to do the same thing.  I think about how complacent we are today compared to Paul and Barnabas.  We are afraid to lose our reputation for Jesus and they were willing to lose their lives!

What needs to happen in my life to be on fire for Jesus Christ?

What are the fears that keep me from sharing my faith openly and boldly?

What am I afraid to lose?

May we be bold witnesses (martyr means witness) to our faith in the risen Christ and may we share His love with everyone we meet – using words and/or actions.

God bless,

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Here is the Spanish translation:

Hechos de los Apóstoles 14:19-28

En aquellos días, llegaron a Listra, procedentes de Antioquía y de Iconio, unos judíos, que se ganaron a la multitud y apedrearon a Pablo; lo dieron por muerto y lo arrastraron fuera de la ciudad. Cuando lo rodearon los discípulos, Pablo se levantó y regresó a la ciudad. Pero al día siguiente, salió con Bernabé hacia Derbe.

Después de predicar el Evangelio y de hacer muchos discípulos en aquella ciudad, volvieron a Listra, Iconio y Antioquía, y ahí animaban a los discípulos y los exhortaban a perseverar en la fe, diciéndoles que hay que pasar por muchas tribulaciones para entrar en el Reino de Dios. En cada comunidad designaban presbíteros, y con oraciones y ayunos los encomendaban al Señor, en quien habían creído.

Atravesaron luego Pisidia y llegaron a Panfilia; predicaron en Perge y llegaron a Atalía. De allí se embarcaron para Antioquía, de donde habían salido, con la gracia de Dios, para la misión que acababan de cumplir.

Al llegar, reunieron a la comunidad y les contaron lo que había hecho Dios por medio de ellos y cómo les había abierto a los paganos las puertas de la fe. Ahí se quedaron bastante tiempo con los discípulos.

_____________________________________________________

Me llamó la atención al leer este pasaje de los Hechos de los Apóstoles. Ellos apedrearon a Pablo, lo arrastraron fuera de la ciudad y lo dejaron por muerto. Sus compañeros discípulos se reunieron alrededor de él y se fue de vuelta a difundir la Buena Nueva. ¡Wow! ¿Podría yo ser tan valiente?

Eso suena como un boxeador de peso pesado del campeonato que es derribado y sigue levantándose. ¡Pero esto es algo aún más increíble! ¡Pablo literalmente tenía piedras lanzadas contra él! Esto no era un deporte. Este es un hombre al que las personas odiaban por el mensaje que predicaba. Él sabía que si continuaba predicando el nombre de Jesús, lo más probable era que moriría. Este es un hombre lleno del Espíritu Santo y nada lo iba a detener de compartir la noticia de Jesucristo resucitado de entre los muertos. Agradar a Dios y cumplir su misión en la tierra era mucho más importante que incluso salvar su vida terrenal. Pablo animó a todos diciendo: “Es necesario pasar por muchas tribulaciones para entrar en el Reino de Dios.”

Tuvo que ser un momento tan emocionante en la Iglesia primitiva. Con celo,  ellos viajaban predicando la Buena Nueva, preparando a líderes en la comunidad y luego se iban a otra comunidad para hacer lo mismo. Pienso en cómo complacientes estamos hoy en día a comparación con Pablo y Bernabé. ¡Tenemos miedo de perder nuestra reputación por Jesús y ellos estaban dispuestos a perder sus vidas!

¿Qué tiene que suceder en mi vida para estar en fuego por Jesucristo?
¿Cuáles son los miedos que me impiden compartir mi fe abiertamente y valientemente?
¿Qué tengo miedo perder?

Que seamos testigos audaces (mártir significa testigo) de nuestra fe en Cristo resucitado y que compartamos Su amor con todos los que conocemos – utilizando  palabras y / o acciones.

Dios los bendiga,
Padre Burke
https://frburke23.wordpress.com


Responses

  1. You sound like Paul, Fr. Burke. God Bless You, and keep us in your prayers….You are one of a kind!!!

  2. What happened to your daily messages?  I really miss them From: Fr. Burke Masters To: f.neal@ymail.com Sent: Monday, May 4, 2015 3:18 PM Subject: [New post] Thought for Tuesday, 5th Week of Easter #yiv1576639912 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv1576639912 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv1576639912 a.yiv1576639912primaryactionlink:link, #yiv1576639912 a.yiv1576639912primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv1576639912 a.yiv1576639912primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv1576639912 a.yiv1576639912primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv1576639912 WordPress.com | frburke23 posted: “Acts 14:19-28In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconiumarrived and won over the crowds.They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,supposing that he was dead.But when the disciples gathered around him,he got up and entered the ci” | |

    • I am still submitting them daily. You might need to re-subscribe. Go to frburke23.wordpress.com and subscribe and see if it works.


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