Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Easter – May 8, 2022

By Rita Melgares, Notre Dame Associate

Barnabas and Paul went on to Antioch, a city in the province of Pisidia.  On the Sabbath, they went into the synagogue and took their seats.  Acts 13:14 

 This first reading expresses the imperative of spreading the word of God.  It stresses the order in which the message is preached:  first to the Jews, and after their rejection of the message, to the Gentiles.  The last verse of the reading stresses that in spite of rejection and persecution, the disciples – Barnabas and Paul – “were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” 

So they shook the dust from their feet . . . and went to Iconium. Acts 13:51 

The gesture of shaking the dust from your feet was an indication of complete disassociation from such unbelievers.

Thus, the Apostles knew “when to fold ‘em” and “when to walk away” – shaking the dust from their feet without recriminations or regrets and turning to a more promising field in Iconium.

A note on this Sunday’s Gospel:  Using the analogy of the shepherd and his sheep, the Gospel emphasizes the need to not only hear, but to follow the voice of Jesus.  Faithfulness is called for so that Jesus can bestow His Life on us in an ever more abundant manner.

Letting God Lead:  How can we determine whether a situation is totally hopeless?  Have you done all you can?  Are you quitting prematurely?  Be honest with yourself and ask God for guidance.  Are there additional efforts you might make to solve the problem?  Or has persistence started to become a matter of ego?  How might God be calling you to invest your labors more fruitfully?

Susan H Swetnen – Daily Reflections from Easter to Pentecost

O Lord, who guided the Apostles’ steps, give me the wisdom to discern when it’s time for me to bless something or someone and move on.