1st Reading: Acts 11:21b–26; 13:1–3
The hand of the Lord was with them so that a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
News of this reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the manifest signs of God’s favor, he rejoiced and urged them all to remain firmly faithful to the Lord; for he himself was a good man filled with Holy Spirit and faith. Thus large crowds came to know the Lord.
Then Barnabas went off to Tarsus to look for Saul and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they had meetings with the Church and instructed many people. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.
There were at Antioch—in the Church which was there—prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon known as Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod, and Saul. On one occasion while they were celebrating the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul to do the work for which I have called them.” So, after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Gospel: Matthew 10:7-13
Jesus said to his disciples, “Go and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. You received this as a gift, so give it as a gift. Do not carry any gold, silver or copper in your purses. Do not carry a traveler’s bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or walking stick: workers deserve their living.
“When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person and stay there until you leave.
“As you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people in the house deserve it, your peace will be on them; if they do not deserve it, your blessing will come back to you.”
“You receive this as a gift, so you give it as a gift” (v. 8). Giving and receiving are fundamental categories. The first thing anthropologists study in a new culture is kinship relationships and secondly ways of giving and receiving. The world is divided into people who give freely and people who do not give freely. Our life is like breathing: breathing out and breathing in, giving and receiving. Asthma is a respiratory disease that prevents you from breathing freely. Well, spiritual asthma is far more common!
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