June 11, 2015

Barnabas

June 11, 2015:  St. Barnabas, Apostle

  • 'Girl with heart' pin:  Barnabas encouraged them to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart (1st reading)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Barnabas was filled with the Spirit (1st reading)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin [instructions]:  A large number of people was added to the Lord....  They taught a large number... (1st reading)
  • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  They prayed...  (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  In Antioch the disciples were first 'called' Christians (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  ...then laid hands on Barnabas and Saul...  (1st reading); the Lord's right hand won victory (psalm)
  • 'Olympics' pin:  All the ends of the earth have seen God's salvation (psalm)
  • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  With trumpets ... sing joyfully before the Lord  (psalm)
  • 'Scales of justice' tie:  The Lord has revealed his justice (psalm); if you don't settle, you'll be handed over to judge, then guard... (gospel)
  • Red shirt for feast of apostle Barnabas
Listen

Pope Francis homily
Announce the Good News through an inner journey:  Disciples who don't go out give back to others what they've received in Baptism; they're not true disciples of Jesus.  They're not missionaries; they can’t get out of themselves to bring something good to others.  Go beyond to bring the good news, but also seek the Lord inwardly every day, through prayer, or else the Gospel you share will be weak, watered down.
A disciple of Jesus who doesn't serve others is not Christian:  Jesus wants this dual journey from his disciples.  It requires service, doing the Beatitudes and the 'protocol' on which we'll be judged, Matthew 25." These pillars “frame” evangelical service.  If you're not journeying to serve, there’s no reason for the journey.  If your life isn't for service, what's the point of Christian life?  Disciples are called to service to Jesus in the sick, the imprisoned, the hungry, the shirtless....
Serve freely vs. the deceitfulness of riches:  "Freely you've received; freely give."  The journey of service is free,because we've received Salvation for free, without buying or deserving it.  It's sad when Christians or communities forget this and think that salvation is from riches or human power.
Summary:  journey (sending off to announce), service (my life, like Jesus', is for others, not myself), and gratuity/freely.  Christ gives us hope that doesn't disappoint, but he makes collapse hope in a comfortable journey, selfish desires, riches, or worldly security.
Read
  • Acts 11:21b-26; 12:1-3  A great number turned to the Lord.  News reached Jerusalem, and they sent Spirit- and faith-filled Barnabas, who saw God's grace, rejoiced, and encouraged them to be faithful; more were added to the Lord.  He brought Saul back to Antioch; for a year they met with the Church and taught many.  The Spirit said, “Set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work I've called them to....”
  • Ps 98:1-6  "The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power,"  done wondrous deeds, won victory, made his justice known, and remembered his kindness and faithfulness.  Sing joyful praise to the Lord with harp, trumpets, and horn!
  • Mt 5:20-26  “Unless your righteousness surpasses the scribes' and Pharisees', you won't enter the Kingdom.  “You've heard, You shall not kill, but I say, if you're angry with your brother, you'll be judged, and whoever calls someone Raqa or 'You fool' will be held accountable.  If you bring your gift to the altar, then recall your brother has something against you, leave your gift, go be reconciled with him, then return and offer your gift.  Settle with your opponent on the way to court, or he'll hand you over and you'll be thrown into prison....
Reflect
      • Creighton:  Jesus:  “if you say Raqa [Aramaic, ~ ‘airhead’] or ‘Fool!’ you'll be held accountable” ∥ “You're not keeping the spirit of ‘Thou shalt not kill’ just because you haven't committed murder.  I challenge you to righteousness beyond the Law; don’t even cultivate an attitude that could lead to murder.  Manage your anger....”
      • One Bread One Body:  "Maximum fruit":  St. Barnabas was very fruitful for God's kingdom, risking his life to accept Paul.  He formed Antioch, the first missionary church, and had the daring and wisdom to seek out Paul to teach them.  He argued to get his cousin John Mark reinstated, and Mark went on to write his gospel.  May I hear and obey God as Barnabas did.
        St. Barnabas
      • Passionist:  Jesus presented his teaching with the authority God used to give the law to Moses, astounding the scribes and Pharisees who considered themselves the Law's arbiters and equated righteousness with outward observance of the law.  Jesus called his disciples to go beyond that to a deeper righteousness, deeper obedience of God’s laws:   remove attitudes and actions that lead to killing and other obstacles to unconditional love.  If you're angry, seek reconciliation.  If you're in a feud, settle and avoid the risk of divine judgment.  We can't proclaim the good news unless it first penetrates our hearts and leads us to keep the commandments of love and forgiveness.
      • DailyScripture.net:  God warned Cain: "Why are you angry? ...Sin is at the door, wanting you, but you must master it."  Sin starts as a seed in us; unless uprooted, it grows like a weed and chokes vine and fruit. Jesus pointed to the heart as seat of desire and choice.  Unless evil and forbidden desires are eradicated, the heart will be corrupted.  Jesus points to forbidden anger, selfish, long-lived anger that nurses a grudge.  Mercy, kindness, forbearance, love, and forgiveness are antidotes. Am I quick to reconcile?
      "May I be no one's enemy, and may I be friend of what's eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I love, seek, and attain only what's good.  May I wish everyone's happiness and envy no one.  May I never rejoice in the ill fortune of one who's wronged me.  When I've done or said something wrong, may I never wait for others' rebuke but always rebuke myself till I make amends.  May I win no victory that harms anyone.  May I reconcile friends who are angry with each other.  May I never fail a friend in danger.  When visiting those in grief, may I soften their pain by gentle and healing words.  May I respect myself.  May I keep tame what rages within me.  May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry because of circumstances.  May I never discuss the wicked and what they've done, but know good people and follow in their footsteps."  (Eusebius)