“…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….”
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.” Acts: 11:21b-26; 13:1-3
Today we reflect on the person of St. Barnabas and his special relationship with the Holy Spirit. God has seen Barnabas to be a good man who encourages those with him “to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart.”
Barnabas is one of those in our communities who is an “Encourager” for good, a “Catalyst” for being faithful to the Lord and working for justice in our communities.
Today we need to take time to look around us – in our communities, families, workplace, nation – and recognize those who are sometimes “hidden” but do God’s work daily to give dignity to all persons and to bring about justice in our lives.
Those people seem – like Barnabas – to have been “Set apart”…for the special work the Holy Spirit has called them to do. Often they are blamed for speaking the truth when it is not the opinion of the majority. Often they are “set aside” because to speak for justice is counter-cultural to the majority in society. They often suffer – as did Barnabas – but remain firm in their faith.
They remain firm in their message about the “dignity” of all persons and the “justice” that needs to be practiced in our neighborhoods, cities, country.
Let us pray:
Come Holy Spirit, help us be strong in faith, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enthuse us with the courage and commitment to be firm in living our personal vocations and fulfill your will in our lives. For we too have been called to live lives – in special ways known to you -- according to Gospel of Jesus, the Christ.
By Pat Callone