10th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Acts 11:21b-26; 13:1-3
In those days a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the Church and taught a large number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off.
Gospel: Mt 10:7-13
Jesus said to the Twelve: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you.”
BEING GOOD AND FULL OF FAITH: On this feast day of St Barnabas – his missionary journeys teach us discipleship. The 1st reading gives us a definition of discipleship. Barnabas is described as “a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24). The chapter gives three dimensions of discipleship: being good indicates being morally upright in our daily interactions and dealings with people. Being full of the Holy Spirit reminds us of the importance of being fully open to the action of God in our lives. That is being full of grace. And finally, being full of faith refers to our earnest and ardent response to the invitation of God in our lives. May St Barnabas inspire us and intercede for us to be people who are good, full of the Holy Spirit, and full of faith.
Prayer: Lord, accompany me in my desire to be a good person, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith.
WE ARE WITNESSES OF GOD’S GOODNESS: We have been sent to the world as salt and light to dispense God’s goodness to others. Through us people should find way to God. It is a free gift given to us (Mt 10:8). Everything that we have comes from God (1 Cor. 4:7). What is ours is just sins and frailties. So, we have no ground of boasting or being selfish. We have to serve others and proclaim the good news wholeheartedly. We are called to unceasingly proclaim the mercy and goodness of the Lord. Like Barnabas the apostle, we need to be strong, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith; and only then we can be salt and light to enliven the others.
Barnabas was born to wealthy Jewish parents on the Greek-speaking island of Cyprus. Traditional accounts hold that his parents sent him to study in Jerusalem, where he studied at the school of Gamaliel. At some point, either during Christ’s ministry or after his death and resurrection, Barnabas decided to commit himself in the most radical way to the teachings he had received. He sold the large estate he had inherited, contributed the proceeds entirely to the Church, and joined Christ’s other apostles in holding all of their possessions in common. Mark is said to have buried Barnabas after he was killed by a mob in Cyprus around the year 62.