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Saint Barnabas, Apostle

June 11

June 11 – Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle

Saint Barnabas’ Story

Barnabas, a Jew of Cyprus, comes as close as anyone outside the Twelve to being a full-fledged apostle. He was closely associated with Saint Paul—he introduced Paul to Peter and the other apostles—and served as a kind of mediator between the former persecutor and the still suspicious Jewish Christians.

When a Christian community developed at Antioch, Barnabas was sent as the official representative of the church of Jerusalem to incorporate them into the fold. He and Paul instructed in Antioch for a year, after which they took relief contributions to Jerusalem.

Later Paul and Barnabas, now clearly seen as charismatic leaders, were sent by Antioch officials to preach to the gentiles. Enormous success crowned their efforts. After a miracle at Lystra, the people wanted to offer sacrifice to them as gods—Barnabas being Zeus, and Paul, Hermes—but the two said, “We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God” (see Acts 14:8-18).

But all was not peaceful. They were expelled from one town, they had to go to Jerusalem to clear up the ever-recurring controversy about circumcision, and even the best of friends can have differences. When Paul wanted to revisit the places they had evangelized, Barnabas wanted to take along his cousin John Mark, author of the Gospel, but Paul insisted that since Mark had deserted them once, he was not fit to take along now. The disagreement that followed was so sharp that Barnabas and Paul separated: Barnabas taking Mark to Cyprus, Paul taking Silas to Syria. Later they were reconciled—Paul, Barnabas and Mark.

When Paul stood up to Peter for not eating with gentiles for fear of his Jewish friends, we learn that “even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy” (see Galatians 2:1-13).


Reflection

Barnabas is spoken of simply as one who dedicated his life to the Lord. He was a man “filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thereby, large numbers were added to the Lord.” Even when he and Paul were expelled from Antioch in Pisidia—modern-day Turkey—they were “filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”


Saint Barnabas is the Patron Saint of:

Cyprus


franciscanmedia.org

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St. Barnabas, Evangelizer of Milan

Anonymous Lombard, 18 c.

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One Bread, One Body

Thursday, June 11, 2020

St. Barnabas

Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3

Psalm 98:1-6
Matthew 10:7-13

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encouragement plus

“He encouraged them all to remain firm in their commitment to the Lord.” —Acts 11:23 “Then…” —Acts 11:25

You would expect anyone known as the “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36) to spend his time exhorting people to remain firm in their commitment to the Lord. The leaders of the Jerusalem church expected this from Barnabas. That’s why they sent him to strengthen the new converts in a young church which faced possible persecution (Acts 11:19).

Encouragement, for Barnabas, was not just doing the expected: a few kind words and “being there” for others. Encouragement also meant finishing the job: personally doing whatever it took to make sure that each person became a solid, life-long disciple of Jesus. Barnabas knew that the best way to give his new converts fresh and continuing courage was to feed them God’s Word. Accordingly, Barnabas made sure those he was encouraging would receive God’s Word by personally traveling to Tarsus, tracking down Paul, and bringing him back to Antioch (Acts 11:25-26). Together, they “instructed great numbers” “for a whole year,” probably by means of daily Scripture teaching (Acts 11:26). By the time Barnabas completed his “encouragement,” the new converts were now called “Christians” and “disciples” (Acts 11:26), meaning those who have absolutely committed themselves to follow Jesus.

Be sons and daughters of encouragement. “Encourage one another” (Heb 10:25) and finish the job.

Prayer:  Father, Source of all encouragement (Rm 15:5), teach me “how to rouse” and encourage Your people (Heb 10:24-25).

Promise:  “Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift.” —Mt 10:8

Praise:  St. Barnabas encouraged Antioch to accept St. Paul, and St. Paul to accept his nephew, John Mark.

Details

Date:
June 11
Event Category:
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Organizer

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
Phone:
(973) 473-0246

Venue

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
10 St. Francis Way
Passaic, NJ 07055 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
973-473-0246
Website:
www.olmcpassaic.com