Fourth Week of Easter Weekday Tuesday
Acts 11: 19-26
John 10: 22-30
Go up to different people and say, “You use to be called by this name, now you are going to be called, insert a new name.” This is what is going on in our readings. To be given a new name, signified that a huge change has taken place in the person’s life.
In our Gospel the Jewish people say, “Speak plainly to us, of who you are.” Jesus responds, “I have shown you who I am by all of my actions, and you still do not believe.” He gives his followers a new name by calling them his “sheep.” His sheep know him by his voice and they follow him.” So the voice of Jesus Christ is very important.
At the time of our first reading, after the death of Stephen, the disciples disperse all over the known world. They speak only to the Jewish people. At this time this new faith is clearly a movement within Judaism, sort of running alongside of it. In Antioch something new begins to happens, men from Cyprus, and island east of Greece, and a man from Cyrene with is modern day Africa come to Antioch and preach to gentiles and they are converted to this new faith. The news goes all the way back to Jerusalem, some 400 miles away, and Barnabas comes to check this out and rejoices and encourages this to happen even more. It is in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christian.
What name would someone give us by watching us move about our day? Hopefully, our new names will be “caring” “loving” “forgiveness” “courage” and or faithfulness.