How long are you going to keep us in suspense?

How long are you going to keep us in suspense?


Acts 11:19-26, Jn 10:22-30. The initiative for faithful discipleship must come from God, as a gift of grace for God works in strange ways. God can brighten our lives if only we take time to be perceptive. Today's first reading presents us with the qualities that characterised Barnabas, a Christian from Cyprus who even in his lifetime was virtually canonised by his friends as “a good man filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith.” Originally named Joseph, he was nicknamed Barnabas, “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36), because of his encouraging prowess and supportive personality. The openness of Barnabas to God’s gifts led him to Tarsus to search for Paul and encouraged him to join the Church in Antioch. Without the intervention of Barnabas, Paul might have been lost in the silence of history; for he was banished by the Jews for being a traitor to his home in Tarsus while the Christian community were yet to accept his credibility of being a convert. Like Jesus the Good Shepherd, Barnabas went out in search of Paul and led him into the Christian community where he transformed the whole missionary zeal of the Church.

Today, we are encouraged to wonder how we might also be instrumental in helping others to find their proper role, their potential and the service they can give to the people of God. It was the influential lifestyle of the Christian community that earned them the name 'Christian' in Antioch to distinguish them from the Jews. This denotes the beginning of a new identity for the disciples of Jesus. Today's Gospel demands a similar response from us. A response of faith that will reveal our new identity in Jesus by the proper use of our gifts: “I give them eternal life and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Jesus speaks of our eternal future while teaching in the precincts of the Temple. Somebody asked Him: “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, say so in plain words.” Many rejected His mystical words about the Kingdom of God and demanded a plain answer, Yes or No, to the question, “Are you the Messiah?” What they probably meant was: “If you are the Messiah, then we can begin our revolt against Rome.” The tone of His answers indicates that He alone can offer a kind of security that the world cannot understand. Jesus wants to lead us to safety, to the fullness of life, we must listen to His voice. He waits for us to come to Him and be led to the fullness of life.

May the Lord place deep in our hearts the spirit of the Gospel, to inspire us to keep His commandments today and always! Amen!! Good morning, Peace be with you!!!

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