Saturday 14 February 2015

Friday of the 5th Week of Easter

How encouraging have we been to others around us? Have we noticed people around us who seem to be down in the doldrums, or they seem depressed or sad, or they seem to be keeping to themselves quite a bit? There are many reasons why people are in such a state, but do we notice them at all? Or have we become so busy with our activities or with ourselves that such people end up being ignored, forgotten or set aside?

In today's reading, we are told: "The apostles and elders decided to choose delegates to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; the whole church concurred with this. They chose Judas known as Barsabbas and Silas, both leading men in the brotherhood, and gave them this letter to take with them... The party left and went down to Antioch, where they summoned the whole community and delivered the letter. The community read it and were delighted with the encouragement it gave them." Notice that in the reading, the apostles and elders did not just write a letter to encourage the community at Antioch, they also sent delegates to be present and give encouragement and support. It is easy to just write a letter or a few words of encouragement, but what matters more is when we offer our presence to others and give them our support as best we can. Perhaps we could make more effort to be mindful of people who need encouragement around us, and help strengthen these people with our support and presence.

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