Kempis continues to warn against worldly voices that contradict the truth or, much more prevalent in recent times, deny there even is objective truth (3,1). God has given us a conscience (our interior student) to help us know the truth. But it must be informed by the Church (certainly not the world) to follow the proper path.
Today’s first reading (Acts 13:44-52) is from the chapter of Acts in which the Lord sends Paul (with Barnabas) on his first missionary journey. Immediately preceding today’s excerpt, Paul gave a long speech in the synagogue in Antioch covering salvation history through the Resurrection and appearance of Jesus afterward (the early part of this speech was proclaimed at yesterday’s Mass). From this they were asked to return the following Sabbath to preach further. And their evangelization gained the two men followers. Due to the Jewish religious leaders’ jealousy in the popularity of Paul and Barnabas, when they returned, they “with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said” and ultimately stirred up enough dissension to drive them from the city. Yet, per the excerpt in the headline, the Gentiles who embraced the truth of the disciples’ mission “[a]ll who were destined for eternal life came to believe.”
The prominent Jews made a lot of noise in trying to dissuade Paul’s hearers of the truth of his message. Those with ears to hear, and hearts open to God, were delighted to receive these holy men and embrace (and help spread) the Good News. The Gentiles were cut to the heart, receptive to the Word, and thus were on the road to salvation. Interiorly they were moved while shunning the exterior noise of dissenting voices.
Do not let your hearts be troubled (Jn 14:1)
Good advice from Our Lord that we heard at yesterday’s celebration. Let us never allow the voice of the world to dissuade, confuse, or disturb us from the truth no matter how cacophonous it becomes. And may we never be reluctant “to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for [our] hope” (1 Pt 3:15).
Paul and Barnabas at Lystra (1592/3) by Jacob Pynas