May 11, 2022
by Cindy Murphy McMahon
Creighton University's Office of Marketing and Communications
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 281

Acts 12:24—13:5a
Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6 and 8
John 12:44-50

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The Acts of the Apostles is one of my favorite books in the New Testament and in the entire Bible. Its practical nature, with its almost journalistic flavor, appeals to my communications mindset and fills in so many details of the early days of Christianity to feed my faith.

Today’s short reading (Acts 12:24—13:5A) is not even a particularly memorable reading, other than the fact that it demonstrates further the inspiration of the Holy Spirt in anointing Barnabas and Saul (Paul) to proclaim the word of God. Yet, I am drawn to the final passage: “So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived in Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.”

I know some people who are from Cyprus and I can imagine that many times they have traveled by boat in the Mediterranean Sea to or from their island country, or from one part of Cyprus to the other. It is a beautiful country and I am sure the Mediterranean was just as breathtaking when Paul and Barnabas sailed as it is today on a sunny day. I picture my friends getting on a ship in Cyprus today and it makes me reflect on how we do not know, for certain, what we will find or learn, or who we will encounter, when we embark on a journey, even if we have specific goals, and neither did these two followers of Jesus. Paul and Barnabas didn’t understand the impact their work, their labor of love and devotion, would have on the world. In fact, they did not have a clue. They simply did what they felt God was leading them to do.

What more can anyone do? Pray, fast occasionally, and then go do. Listen to the Spirit as you go, as best you can, and do your best to fulfill what you believe you are called to do. God asks nothing more from us, except to leave the results of our actions up to God. 

Cindy wrote this reflection on these readings in 2016.

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