Today’s first reading on the feast of the apostle Barnabas celebrates the success of the apostles as they shared the gospel of Jesus in Antioch and across the ancient world. Note that it was in Antioch that Jesus’ followers were first called “Christians.” The energy in this passage is quite palpable as Barnabas and Saul and others are sent off to preach the life and mission of Jesus. As Acts reminds us, these early apostles were alive with the person and message of Jesus. And that message was contagious.

The obvious parallel these weeks of summer 2016: how are you and I alive with the gospel this summer? How do I work at strengthening relationships? At infusing my attitudes and actions with the values of Jesus? At sharing the gospel in practical ways as I walk “my world” each day?

—The Jesuit Prayer Team