13 May 2017
The next sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God. When they saw the crowds, the Jews, prompted by jealousy, used blasphemies and contradicted everything Paul said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly. ‘We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, we must turn to the pagans. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said:
I have made you a light for the nations,
so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.’
It made the pagans very happy to hear this and they thanked the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread through the whole countryside.
But the Jews worked upon some of the devout women of the upper classes and the leading men of the city and persuaded them to turn against Paul and Barnabas and expel them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in defiance and went off to Iconium; but the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’
Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’
‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him, ‘and you still do not know me?
‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:
it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever believes in me
will perform the same works as I do myself,
he will perform even greater works,
because I am going to the Father.
Whatever you ask for in my name I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask for anything in my name,
I will do it.’
I have made you a light for the nations
Sometime back, I went on a low-carb diet after I was inspired by a couple of friends. Sharon, one of our other contributors in OXYGEN, also gave me lots of tips, since she’s been on this diet for many years. One thing I came to realize in the course of this diet is that, ‘Eating fat does not make you fat.’ Contrary to popular belief, the fat that we eat does not get stored in our body as fat. However, the carbohydrates that we eat do get stored in our body as fat if we eat an excess of it.
When we receive the Body of Christ during Mass, what happens to it? The bread breaks up and is dissolved in our saliva, but what happens to Christ’s presence in the bread? It is taken in and becomes a part of us. In other words, ‘Eating the body of Christ makes us the Body of Christ.’
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus tells his disciples, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” When we receive Holy Communion, we can also say, “I am in Christ and Christ is in me.” What does it mean then to become the Body of Christ? We become the physical extensions of Christ in the world, living to fulfill his purpose.
That purpose is, as it says in the first reading, to be a light for the nations so that God’s salvation may reach the ends of the earth.
Let us reflect: How am I being a light for the nations? How am I contributing to extending God’s salvation to reach the ends of the earth?
(Today’s Oxygen by Daniel Tay)
Prayer: We pray for unity within the Body of Christ.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the Lord for the gift of himself