THURSDAY 11TH JUNE 2020
MEMORIAL OF ST. BARNABAS
Acts 11:22-26; 13:1-3, Matthew 10:7-13
Life could be very interesting if you have a very calm and focused personality to work with, especially when you are carrying out a difficult task. This is how many people who knew Barnabas in the early church describe him. He was an ardent believer of the faith who together with St Paul, were given the title Apostles in the early Church though they were not called directly by Jesus during his time here on earth. Barnabas was a very trusted and hardworking man who worked with the Apostles. When the Apostles heard that the Christians in Antioch have received the faith, they sent Barnabas to see if it was a fertile ground for evangelisation. We are told in the first reading of today that his journey to Antioch was successful because he is a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith in God.
When the Apostles and early Christians had heard that Paul who was a former persecutor of the faith has been converted and has become an ardent preacher of the gospel, they were afraid of him, but Barnabas left Antioch to look for Paul in Tarsus, he brought him to Antioch and they stayed together for a year before they were both commissioned to go together for their first missionary journey. We could see therefore that Barnabas was very sensitive and considerate. He helped Paul during his moment of crisis and Paul became a great Missionary for the church.
It is these good qualities of Barnabas that helped him to achieve the commands of Jesus in the gospel reading, telling the disciples to go out and proclaim the gospel, welcome or unwelcome. We pray for the grace to assist others like St. Barnabas to preach the gospel of Christ to the ends of the world. God help us.
St Barnabas, pray for us.
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP