And when an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat Paul and Barnabas and to stone them, the apostles learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country; and there they continued proclaiming the good news.
In Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet and had never walked, for he had been crippled from birth. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. And Paul, looking at him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said in a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And the man sprang up and began to walk. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice.
When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, "Friends, why are you doing this? We are mortals just like you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to follow their own ways; yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good--giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling you with food and your hearts with joy." Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.
Not to us, Lord, not to us,
but to your name give the glory
for the sake of your love and your truth,
lest the heathen say: 'Where is their God?' (R./)
Our God he is in the heavens;
he does whatever he wills.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the work of human hands. (R./)
May you be blessed by the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
The heavens belong to the Lord
but the earth he has given to men. (R./)
Jesus said to his disciples,
"They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them." Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?" Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you."
If we are led by the Holy Spirit, we can be instruments of healing for others. Today’s Scriptures suggest how we can enter into this healing frame of mind.
We must be obedient to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit touches us, reminding us that we are full of potential, meant to be instruments of the healing love of God.
Grace is near at hand, all around us. As St Paul said in Athens: “the living God made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them. … In bestowing his benefits, he has not hidden himself from us. From the heavens he sends down rain and rich harvests; your spirits he fills with food and delight.”
The message of salvation belongs to everyone. It cannot be hoarded as our private property. Just as the Father’s message came through Jesus so the message we have received must flow through us to inspire new life in others.
We can be instruments of hope.. God’s instruments, even to the extent of healing others from worry and stress, just as Paul and Barnabas brought new energy to the crippled man at Lystra.
The verb “to love” is central to the gospel. It covers our love for Jesus, his love for us, and the Father’s love for the whole of creation. We show our love for Jesus by keeping his word and following his teaching, which is summed up as “love one another as I have loved you.”
He promises to send us the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Spirit revives in our minds the outlook of Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps us to “love one another as I have loved you.” This is a whole vision of the Christian life: God’s relationship with us as Father, Son and Spirit, and our relationship with each other.