Tuesday, Fifth Week of Easter

Tuesday, May 12

Tuesday, Fifth Week of Easter


Liturgical readings are available here.

What started on a positive note for Paul and Barnabas, ends with a tragedy. Upon their arrival to Lystra, people almost offered sacrifices to them considering them god, but then everything changes into hatred and they almost stone Paul to death. Paul is experiencing the same fate as Steven earlier in the Acts of the apostles, perhaps already anticipated by the comment back then: Saul was consenting to his [Stephen’s] execution.

Besides the backwards ties to the very origins, this passage also anticipates the times to come in the life of the Church. When leaving the territory, Paul and Barnabas appointed presbyters for them in each church.

The community of the Christians still has a long way to go. Besides faith, patience, and inspiration, they will also need a formal and firm organization and leadership. No rights, powers, and jurisdiction of these elders are clear at this point yet, but one thing is clear: the church will always exist as an organized community.

The leaders do not derive their existence and office from the will of the members who would vote. Rather, it is God who entrusts the leaders with responsibility and expects them to model themselves according to the example of the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd challenges the sheep, but also lays his life down for them.