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.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 : 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.”

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 : 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!

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 : 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.

Monday, 11 June 2018 : 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 Lord, namely St. Barnabas, the companion of the famed St. Paul the Apostle, during several of his missionary trips around the Eastern Mediterranean region. St. Barnabas accompanied St. Paul from cities to cities, preaching the Christian faith to the people in those places.

St. Barnabas and St. Paul were not among the Twelve Apostles, who were Christ’s chief confidants and followers. However, as an Apostle, St. Barnabas was a key component and part in the foundation of the early Christian Church. Together with St. Paul and the other Apostles, they worked tirelessly to establish the foundations of the Church and spread the faith to many places throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.

We heard about their exploits in the first reading passage today, and if we continued reading the entire Acts of the Apostles and the letters that St. Paul wrote to the various communities of the faithful, we can see how the works of St. Barnabas and the Apostles were crucial in the establishment of the faith in numerous places, despite the hardships and challenges that they had to endure.

Without their hard work and perseverance, we would not have the Church as it is today, and many souls would have been lost to damnation, as without the truth being brought forth to the masses by these faithful servants of God, they would have remained in the darkness and ignorance, and remaining in the state of sin, they would have been lost.

However, as we should have realised, that with the hard work that the Apostles had given, also came great perseverance and suffering that they had to endure. The Lord Jesus commissioned His disciples to go forth in their assigned works in our Gospel passage today, and then, He even told them of what to expect in their work, that there would be those who would refuse to believe them, and would reject them.

To the Apostles, this would mean suffering and persecution, and just as St. Paul had experienced many times, they had to go through suffering in prison, and died a painful martyr’s death. Some were crucified on crosses, while others were beheaded, shot with arrows, or thrown to the lions and wild animals in the gladiator arena, and many more were tortured to death.

Yet, they remained true to their faith and refused to give it up to secure their own lives. They would rather suffer and perish in faith rather than to betray and abandon their Lord. Their example should be our inspiration on how we should live faithfully in accordance to God’s ways, and stand up for our faith in Him, as all true Christians should. We should no longer be lukewarm in our faith, and begin from now on, to practice our faith in our lives.

That is how we can also take part in the work of evangelisation that the Apostles had begun, as preaching by word alone is just one way of evangelising the faith to others. In fact, if we do not act in the same manner as we have preached and spoken, no one will believe in us. The Apostles lived as they have believed, and they practiced the love that they had been shown in their daily lives and interactions, caring for the need of one another, and loving God with all of their might.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the works of the Apostles, as I have mentioned, are not yet complete. There are still many areas in which the faith can reach out to many more souls who are still lost from the Lord. Even within our Church there are still many of those who have lost their faith, or become lukewarm and apathetic in the living of their faith. This is where we can play our part, to be examples and inspirations to each other in faith.

May the Lord be with us all, and may through the intercession of St. Barnabas, all of us will draw ever closer to God, and be more faithful in our respective lives, day after day. May God bless us all and our endeavours. Amen.

Monday, 11 June 2018 : 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.”

Monday, 11 June 2018 : 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!