After staying in Antioch some time, Paul left and traveled. Paul’s experience reminds us of one practical way that God can fill us, through our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Nothing is more refreshing than coming home! Our strength and joy are renewed, and we are filled up and ready to get back out into the world.
You can imagine how Paul must have felt when he returned to Antioch at the end of a long missionary journey. This bustling city had been home base for him for a number of years, and he surely felt comfortable in the familiar surroundings and among the friends he had made there. It appears that he even refused an invitation to stay longer in Ephesus so that he could get back home!
Paul needed to come home
Is not that encouraging? Even the zealous apostle Paul needed to “come home” from time to time. Perhaps he was weary from his travels and worn out from preaching the gospel. Perhaps he wanted to refocus himself in a familiar place so that he could continue to be effective as an evangelist. Or perhaps he just wanted some time with his spiritual family. Surely being among them reminded him of God’s faithfulness and encouraged him not to give up when he faced persecution.
Whatever else Paul experienced, he clearly felt encouraged because when he set off again, he was able to bring “strength to all the disciples”.
Home can refill your empty tank
This sounds a lot like the way our friends in Christ can refresh us. When you are feeling discouraged, a brother or sister can pray with you. When your spiritual gas tank needs filling, your spouse might care for the children so that you can spend time in Eucharistic adoration. Being at Mass with your fellow parishioners can fill you with grace for the coming week.
God wants to fill you today. He wants to refresh you so that you can strengthen other people. So do not hesitate to “come home” when you need to . Let God minister to you as he did for Paul in Antioch.