This first reading from Acts highlights the process of change in our lives. People can be so critical of others due to their own fear and insecurity, and so they lash out. This threatening behaviour is felt by the apostles Barnabas and Paul and naturally to go elsewhere in the knowledge that God is with them, and the message of Jesus still must be taken out to the world.
So, when a healing comes, the crowds move to wanting to put them on a pedestal and so what often happens religion is expressed through externals. Being human is seen as ordinary and tainted but as Genesis 1:26 states, “we are made in God’s image and likeness”. So, how can humanity be tainted? We are gift and when we share our love and life, we become a gift to and for others.
The gospel reiterates this in a sense that “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.” This is something we humans miss, God is love!
Jesus teaches us through his life that the joys and sorrows are the mosaic pieces of being human. Each piece is important! As we reflect and discover the message of Jesus. We find that the message of love is intimately linked with being compassionate, being forgiving, being merciful and being just.
This last weekend we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Passionist Family Groups. From small beginnings, we have seen a ministry of love, care, and compassion flourish. The motto is still being lived to be,
“A Family For All”
Paul Traynor is married to Clare and has two children Sam and Lucy. He lives in Greytown which is in the Wairarapa Region on the North Island of New Zealand. Paul is currently working as the National Passionist Family Groups Coordinator for Aotearoa, New Zealand.