The Church at Antioch

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Church at Antioch

Dear Friends,
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (11:19-26):

          Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that arose because of Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but Jews. There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however, who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The news about them reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.

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          What a beautiful day we had yesterday, beautiful sunshine and not too cold! I went fishing trout again for a second time this year. This time I went with my sister, Esther. She caught the biggest trout she ever caught in her life. I suppose she had a great meal of trout last evening.

          Below you will find the message of Our Lord, the Son of God, given to Father Melvin. Jesus spoke to him these words,
“Rejoice My brother Melvin and all My brothers and sisters who belong to My Church. Read what happened to Antioch when the disciples taught the people there about Me. A huge crowd entered the Church at that time in this town. Although there was a problem between the Jews and the Gentiles, they sent Barnabas to Antioch to investigate and he found that the Holy Spirit filled the Gentiles just like the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. So all these Gentiles were baptized and Barnabas was full of joy.
“My brother Melvin, you saw something similar in Africa when you were there. You opened a church in a village where there were no Catholics and every Sunday the church was full with over 400 people. When it came to receive Holy Communion only one person came forward to receive, all the others were not baptized. Once they were instructed, then they were baptized and they all received Holy Communion. What a joy there was in that village when they all became My followers. This gave Me great joy too to see all these believers. I bless you My brother Melvin and all you who read this message. I love you all.”

          Father Melvin

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