"Barnabas and Saul…sent forth by the Holy Spirit…set sail from there for Cyprus." —Acts 13:2, 4
Barnabas was the leader for the Church's first missionary trip, as indicated by the fact that his name came before Saul's. Of all the possible destinations in a world without the Lord, the Holy Spirit sent Barnabas home, to Cyprus (Acts 13:4). Remember that Barnabas came "from Cyprus" (Acts 4:36). After evangelizing Cyprus, Barnabas and Saul evangelized numerous cities. Thus, with home serving as a launching pad, "the word of the Lord continued to spread and increase" (Acts 12:24).
Jesus once delivered a man from possession by demons. The man wanted to "accompany Him. Jesus did not grant his request, but told him instead: 'Go home to your family and make it clear to them how much the Lord in His mercy has done for you' " (Mk 5:18-19). He did this, but he then expanded his evangelization to the Ten Cities (Mk 5:20). With home as a launching pad, "the word of the Lord continued to spread and increase" (Acts 12:24).
Are you confused about your mission field? It could be that God is sending you home to start His mission for you. It may be easier to evangelize strangers than it is to share your witness with your brother, sister, or friend. Jesus understands that you may not be accepted at home (see Lk 4:24). Your witness could also cause division for a time at home (see Mt 10:34-36). However, if you don't love your hometown people enough to risk possible rejection to bring them the good news of Jesus, what makes you think you'll love strangers enough to evangelize them? Whether or not you succeed at home, with home as a launching pad, the word of the Lord will continue "to spread and increase" (Acts 12:24).
Prayer: Father, may I bear fruit where You plant me. May all in my home and my hometown come to know, love, and serve You.
Promise: "I have come to the world as its Light." —Jn 12:46
Praise: Sarah's patience and prayers influenced her husband to look into becoming Catholic.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 6, 2015
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