Saturday, 11 June 2022 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we mark the occasion of the Feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle, one of the Holy Apostles of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the companion of St. Paul the Apostle, another great Apostle and missionary of the faith. St. Barnabas has dedicated much of his life for the evangelisation of the people in all the communities and places that he has visited, both in his missionary journeys with St. Paul and in his own missionary works and other engagements. As we listened to more of his works and ministry, his dedication and commitment to God, we are reminded that we ourselves have been called to the same mission by the Lord as well.

St. Barnabas according to Apostolic traditions was a Jew who lived and hailed from Cyprus, one of the Jews living in the diaspora, who came to believe in Christ and became one of the earliest disciple and follower of Christ after His Resurrection, and who gave himself for the service of the Lord and His Church, in which he and St. Paul managed to convert many of the Gentiles during the course of his work, and his successes in Antioch and the region as mentioned in our first reading passage today led to him and St. Paul being sent to evangelise and minister to the faithful in many parts across the Mediterranean region. The Apostles prayed over them and sent them to the people in their mission areas to bring the truth of God to them.

St. Barnabas and St. Paul went through many things together, facing obstacles and challenges, having to endure persecutions and rejections just as they managed to gain a lot of success in some places as well. He helped to champion the cause of the Gentiles or the non-Jewish people who converted to the faith, that they should not need to obey and follow the entire extent of the Jewish customs and practices, contrary to what some among the Christian converts, especially from among the Pharisees, had pressured the Church to do. St. Barnabas also did many other things for the benefit of the faithful and the larger Christian community.

St. Barnabas continued to carry on the mission of evangelising to many people and establishing the Christian faith and its foothold in various places and communities. He continued to do his works even after he had parted ways with St. Paul and continued to evangelise to the people with the help of some other helpers, serving the Lord to the best of his ability. He helped many people to know God and to turn away from their sinful ways. St. Barnabas helped to establish many new Church communities and helped them all in remaining faithful to God. Eventually, he was also martyred for his faith in God.

In our Gospel reading today, we then heard of the words of the Lord Jesus to His disciples, as He sent them out, in pairs, two by two, to go before Him and to do the works that He had sent them to do. He told them to go from place to place, preaching the words of His truth and love, calling on everyone to turn back towards the Lord and to follow Him. He told them to do all the wonders and works which He would guide them all to do. He told them to live among the people they had been sent to, and God would provide for them wherever they were welcomed, accepted and successful.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, each and every one of us as Christians are also sharing in the same mission that God has entrusted to His disciples back then. The works and the mission of the Church are still far from being completed, and we have to realise that we are part of the works and efforts of the Church to continue this mission that the Lord still expects of us to complete. We have to active ministers of the Lord’s works and answer His call towards us, as He called us to be His missionaries, the witnesses of His light, truth and love, His hope and mercy in the midst of our respective communities, many of whom are still living in ignorance of God and His truth.

That is why, each and every one of us should be inspired by the examples set by St. Barnabas and the many other Apostles, disciples, all the saints and martyrs who had dedicated themselves and their lives to love and serve the Lord wholeheartedly. We are all called to live our lives to the fullest and to live them as faithful Christians, such that in our every words, actions and deeds, we will always bring glory to God and that everyone who hears us, sees us and witnesses our works, will come to know that we are truly God’s beloved people, and will come to know God and His truth through us and our lives, and not only just through our words but also through our actions as well.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore heed the Lord’s call and our mission, and be good and faithful Christians at all times. Let us follow in the footsteps of St. Barnabas and the many other saints of God, our holy predecessors, and let us seek to glorify God by our lives and by our every actions. May the Lord continue to guide us and to strengthen us in our resolve to follow Him and to serve Him at all times. May He empower each and every one of us and may He encourage us all with His power and Holy Spirit, that we may continue to be beacons of His light, truth and love at all times. May the Lord bless us all, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, 11 June 2022 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Matthew 10 : 7-13

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Go, and proclaim this message : The kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. Freely have you received, freely give. Do not carry any gold or silver or money in your purses. Do not take a travelling bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or a walking stick : workers deserve to be compensated.”

“When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person, and stay there until you leave. When you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people are worthy people, your peace will rest on them; if they are not worthy people, your blessing will come back to you.”

Saturday, 11 June 2022 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 97 : 1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6

Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

The Lord has shown His salvation, revealing His justice to the nations. He has not forgotten His love nor His faithfulness to Israel.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you lands, make a joyful noise to the Lord, break into song and sing praise.

With melody of the lyre and with music of the harp. With trumpet blast and sound of the horn, rejoice before the King, the Lord!

Saturday, 11 June 2022 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Acts 11 : 21b-26 and Acts 13 : 1-3

A great number believed and turned to the Lord. News of this reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the manifest signs of God’s favour, he rejoiced and urged them all to remain firmly faithful to the Lord; for he, himself, was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thus large crowds came to know the Lord.

Then Barnabas went off to Tarsus, to look for Saul; and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year, they had meetings with the Church and instructed many people. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.

There were at Antioch – in the Church which was there – prophets and teachers : Barnabas, Symeon known as Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod, and Saul. On one occasion, while they were celebrating the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul to do the work for which I have called them.”

So, after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.