The founders of most ancient religions had life only in mythology, but our Apostles swatted flies the way we do.

Tuesday, 4/22/13

When we look at ancient religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Shintoism we see that what made them quite different from Christianity was that they had no footing in our real world.

While their heroes lived in a world of myths, our apostles swatted flies, and sometimes ate tainted meat. They walked and they walked; and on our modern maps we can see how far they walked.

The death of Jesus came around the year 33 A.D: and, it was a dozen year later, near the year 45, that the officials in Jerusalem put Stephen to death. That began a general persecution of Christians; and while the Apostles stayed behind in Jerusalem, many of the Christians moved to Antioch, a city two hundred miles north of Jerusalem. To picture that migration, try imagining packing your most valuables things in pillowcases, then walking from Jacksonville to Charleston South Carolina.
Alexander the Great conquered all the Middle East, then died young in 322 B.C., leaving three of his generals to split up his empire. Ptolemy became pharaoh in  Egypt, Antigonis became king in Greece, and Seleucus ruled the rest of the Middle East.

Seeing eagles as sacred to Zeus, Seleucus, to find the place for his capitol, handed meat to an eagle, then he followed its flight on horseback. Where the eagle landed is where he established his capitol. He called it Antioch after three of his most revered ancestors.

The Christians migrating from Jerusalem were exclusively Jewish, just as members of the Knights of Columbus are exclusively Catholics; but in Antioch they had to mix with Jewish Christians from Cypress and Cyrene in Libya; and those people of the Diaspora had many Gentile friends with whom they shared their Christian Faith.

The Apostles who had stayed behind in Jerusalem, looked around for someone to represent them in Antioch, and they hit on a Christian named Joseph who was from the island of Cypress. In addition to his having grown up among the Gentiles on Cypress, he was such an open hearted man that the Apostle had renamed him Banabus, meaning the Son of Consolation.

Once appointed, Barnabus looked for a companion, and he settled on Saul, who had settled at his hometown of Tarsus in southeastern Turkey. After his conversion Saul had spent a dozen years there, assisting his father in tent making, and in meditating on the mysteries of the Faith.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wonderful. and enlightening lesson.
Thank you Father.

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