“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul,”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 12:24-13:5a)
In those days: The word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, bringing with them John whose other name was Mark. Now in the Church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews.
The word of the Lord
RESPONSOR IAL PSALM Psalm 67:2-3.5.6 and 8 (R. 4)
R/. Let the people praise you, O God; let all the people praise you!
O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your salvation. R.
Let the nations be glad and shout for joy,
with uprightness you rule the peoples;
you guide the nations on earth. R.
Let the peoples praise you,
O God; let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
that all the ends of the earth may revere him. R.
ALLELUIA John 8:12
Alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; he who follows me will have the light of life. Alleluia.
“I have come as light into the world.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 12:44-50)
At that time: Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
In the first reading, we see how a believing community prays and engages in a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life and mission. The community in Antioch hears God’s voice while listening together in prayer. Among their leaders are Africans: Lucius of Cyrene and Simon called Niger (Black). Guided by the Spirit, they send their best teachers on mission. In the Gospel, Jesus too declares that his entire mission by word and deed comes not from Himself but from His listening to, and responding faithfully to God. This is a lesson for us today, who tend to celebrate ourselves and each other for our diverse “achievements”.