These weeks we are hearing the narrative of the very early followers of The Way, that is, those who adhere to the Good News taught by Jesus, the crucified and risen one.
With the killing of the deacon while kidnapping the two bishops in Syria has me concerned about Christians losing the sensitivity to the importance of Syria as a key Christian center. Most Western Christians forget that our Christians origins in the West was first formed in the East. Recall from Acts that "it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians." It was in Antioch, not in Rome, not in Moscow, not in Constantinople, that the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth were first generated by the Holy Spirit, they were called by name. It's not West OR East, but West AND East when comes to Christian faith. Does Antioch have any resonance with you Christians? Do you have any concern for our Christian heritage in Syria? What's our concern for those being killed for being Christian today? Do we even care? Remember: God has created each of us to do Him some definite service; let us live and work in charity for our neighbor.
A famous Antiocian saint, the bishop Ignatius said this in his letter to the Magnesians, "It is right, therefore, that we not just be called Christians, but that we actually be Christians" (4.1).