It is 24th April 2018. We celebrate the memorial of Fidelis of Sigmaringen, a Capuchin friar, priest and martyr. The readings are from Acts 11:19-26; and the Gospel from John 10:22-30. What does it mean to be a Christian today? Is it just a name or for a spiritual fame? Does our name reveal Jesus truly in our daily lives? Do our actions match the teachings of Christ and tag them together? Whatever the circumstances that brought the title for followers of Christ, it has a deep connotation and significance even today as long as it denotes what it means. The first reading presents us that the followers of Christ were for the first time called CHRISTIANS in Antioch, was one of the biggest international cities during the time of Roman rule. It is the very place, many discipled got the asylum to protect themselves from the persecution. The disciples shared the Word of God not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles. The remarkable teachings of St. Philip and St. Peter brought many Gentiles near Christ. During this outpouring of conversion from the Gentiles, Barnabas emerged among them to lead and to bring St. Paul on board to preach the Word of God. Barnabas demonstrated his faith in Jesus by his charity bringing all his wealth to the Apostles. It was at this time, Paul was not received well in Jerusalem due to fear among the believers. It was Barnabas who invited Paul to come to Antioch telling: “Christ needs you.” The instructions, teachings, preaching and their personal lives inspired the Church and made many to come closer to Christ than ever before. The people lived around the disciples who witnessed a remarkable change in their lives and in their actions called them CHRISTIANS, the people who are soaked in the blood of Christ, or the people who resemble Christ, or to be the examples of Christ. Moreover, it was the openness to embrace everyone, Christlike attitude in loving and accepting, letting go off the past grudges and willingness to go through a certain amount inconvenience and to provide from the personal sacrifice that brought the title CHRISTIANS to the believers. “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. (Acts 11:25,26). Our belief alone not sufficient to be called and known as Christians but the works and actions that translates the sacrifice of being a Christian. The responsorial Psalm praises, “O praise the Lord, all you nations.” (Ps.116:1). Wherever there is unity, there is newness and fruitful growth. The Gospel explains the unity between Jesus and the Father. Jesus exclaims that He is the Christ and His Words and works that bear witness to his very name. “The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.” (Jn.10:26). What are the works that we do remind others that we are Christians? We have not done enough to describe ourselves as Christians. The people around us have not witnessed or impressed enough to call us as Christian yet. May we sincerely show to the world whom we believe by the very works we do to the bruised humanity. May you have a good day.

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