“They spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 11:19-26)
In those days: Those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to none except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the Church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 87: 1-3.4-5.6-7 (Psalm 117:1a)
R. O praise the Lord, all you nations.
Founded by him on the holy mountain,
the Lord loves the gates of Sion,
more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Of you are told glorious things, you, O city of God! R.
“Rahab and Babylon I will count
among those who know me;
Of Tyre, Philistia, Ethiopia, it is told,
‘There was this one born. ’
But of Sion it shall be said,
‘Each one was born in her. ”’
He, the Most High, established it. R.
In his register of peoples the Lord writes,
“Here was this one born.”
The singers cry out in chorus,
“In you, all find their home.” R.
ALLELUIA John 10:27
Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.
“I and the Father are one.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 10:22-30)
It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Holy Spirit continues to move the early Christians progressively to the full inclusion of Gentiles in God’s family. Cornelius, a God-fearer, is an associate of Judaism. The Gentiles mentioned in the first reading are pure Gentiles. The identity of those who achieved this radical breakthrough in Gospel inclusivity is unknown. The believers could indeed be called Christians, followers of Christ, because they had finally arrived at embracing people of all nations. This mixed Jewish and Gentile community in Antioch formed Barnabas and Paul for their universal mission to the Gentiles. Jesus’ first disciples’ openness sharply contrasts with the Jews’ stubbornness in rejecting Jesus. How do we participate in this mission of the Spirit?