Updated: May 16
In our reading from Acts of the Apostles (Acts 13:44-52), we hear of an altercation between Saint Paul, accompanied by Saint Barnabas, and certain Jews of influence in the city. As a result of growing tensions, Paul and Barnabas increasingly focused the proclamation of the Kerygma (the apostolic proclamation of salvation in Jesus Christ) to the Gentiles (non-Jews).
This isn't the first time something like this happened in the life of the disciples. We saw this in Jerusalem with the first persecution of the Christians. Driven out by the persecution, they proclaimed the Kerygma elsewhere; to whatever place to which they were driven.
That's a lesson we ought to recall, whenever tragic circumstances drive us away from our habitual pattern of worship. Using this recent pandemic crises as an example, many are currently not able to worship the Lord in the usual way (by physically participating in the Holy Mass and other sacraments). Many are "driven away" from Church grounds by circumstances and the decision and actions of others. But as Saints Paul and Barnabas, as did the disciples before them, continued to spread the Gospel wherever they ended up, we are called to do the same: to proclaim Jesus Christ precisely at the place where we are at, wherever that may be.
If we are at home, what can we do to proclaim Jesus to our family? At work (for those able to work), how I can reveal (and to what degree) Jesus Christ to others in these unusual times? With the challenge of social distancing, how I can bring the message of Jesus to others?
Jean Baptiste de Champaigne, Saint Paul Stoned in the City of Lystra, [copied from necspenecmetu.tumblr.com]