Tuesday, 11 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the feast of one of the Apostles of the Church, namely that of St. Barnabas the Apostle, one of those who accompanied St. Paul the Apostle on his missionary journeys throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. St. Barnabas went from many places to places, often suffering rejections, ridicule and persecutions along the way.

Yet, he remained strong in his faith and dedication, giving his all to the service of God. He received the strength of the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that all the Apostles have received at Pentecost. Through the Holy Spirit, the Apostles performed wonderful works, reaching out to the people and speaking the truth of God in their midst, making many among them to believe in God despite there were also equally plenty of people who refused to believe.

St. Barnabas essentially did what the Lord had commanded His disciples to do, to proclaim the Good News as He has said in our Gospel passage today. He sent them forth to do His will, to bring healing to the sick and to liberate people from the possession of demons and their bondage to sin. And they were told not to bring many possessions but bring only the absolute minimum of what they needed, not even having extra things for themselves.

They were told to depend on the kindness of the people, some of whom would welcome them and take care of them. And that was what St. Barnabas and the other Apostles had done, throughout their missionary works, as they did not perform their works like that of conquering princes and warlords, or like mighty kings and lords, but rather as simple and humble servants of God Almighty.

And the Apostles like St. Barnabas performed their work with joy, despite the challenges and sorrows they had to endure, because they knew that God was with them, and whatever that they did, they did them because of their love not only for God but also for all those people to whom they had been sent to. They loved their fellow brethren and because of that, they rejoiced when the people came to believe in God because of them.

For they knew well what would happen should the people reject the Lord and continue to live in sin. To suffer for eternity in hellfire and eternal suffering is not something that anyone would have wanted or wished for someone whom they loved. God does not want that fate to happen to us, and therefore, neither did the Apostles and the courageous disciples of the Lord wanted that to happen to their brethren.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us are reminded that the works of the Apostles are not yet completed, and there are still many things that need to be done for all of us as the members of God’s Church. All of us are in fact the successors and the inheritors to the works of the Apostles, as we need to continue the good works that they have started, in delivering the message of God’s truth to the people and in calling God’s people to conversion.

Let us all therefore be inspired by the courage and dedication which St. Barnabas had shown, in his perseverance through the difficult times and challenges he had to face in those years he spent ministering to the people of God and in preaching to the pagans. Let us all do our very best in our own efforts and in giving of our time to be the true and faithful witnesses of God’s truth among our communities.

May the Lord bless us in all of our endeavours and may He strengthen us in our resolve and commitment, to live our lives faithfully as Christians from now on, becoming good examples for one another in each and every moments of our lives. May God be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

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