June 11, 2019


June 11, 2019:  St. Barnabas, Apostle

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 98
For the gospel
Pope Francis homily

We're called to serve and love others as God has done with us.  We can't remain stationary; our way of life impels us to hit the road, always.  Jesus has given us the mission to proclaim the kingdom of heaven, cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and drive out demons.  Christian life is for service.  It saddens us to find Christians who once served but later make use of God's people, harming them.

You can't buy salvation; God saves us free of charge.  As God has done with us, so we are to do with others.  The Lord is full of gifts for us; he only asks for an open heart.  When we pray ‘Our Father,’ we open our heart.  Often when we need a grace, we say, ‘I'll fast, do penance, pray a novena…’  But be careful:  do it to open your heart so grace may enter, not to ‘buy’ grace.

God’s gifts are free, but a closed heart can't receive such love.  Don't bargain with God.  Give freely.  We always run the risk of slipping up on the payment question, even when praying, as if we need to bribe the Lord.  No!  I make a promise, to expand my heart to receive what's already waiting, free.  This relationship will help us to have rapport with others, in witness, service, and pastoral work.  Preach and serve, but don't use others.  Give what you've freely received.  May our life be permeated by this openness, so God's gratuitousness may enter.

(Thanks, WordArt and Clipart-library)
  • 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 5:13-16  “You're the salt of the earth, but if salt loses its taste, it's no longer any good.  You're the light of the world.  People put lamps on stands to give light to all.  Shine your light so others may see your good deeds and glorify your Father.”
  • Creighton:  The 1st reading starts, “In those days,” a phrase denoting separation between then and now.  If the time between the existence of water and the present were compressed into a single year, Jesus lived on earth about 14 seconds ago.  We can feel disconnected from our past, but we may not be as disconnected as we think....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Name change":  Joseph's name was changed to Barnabas ("son of encouragement") because he was such an encouragement through his words and finances.  For a Jew, "Joseph" referred to Joseph from Genesis, the dreamer his brothers sold into slavery who became responsible for the survival of Egypt and the rest of the Middle East during a famine.  His story was one of recovery of freedom, family, and food; he helped others survive.  Barnabas was a builder of the kingdom, recovering from the past, building the future, breaking ground, acting (not merely reacting) in faith, attacking the gates of hell, not just playing defense. He was not only reacting in faith but acting in faith.  We too need a name change, from crisis intervention to evangelization, survival to revival, avoiding defeat to claiming victory.
  • Passionist:  Barnabas was an encourager.  The Jerusalem Church, needing someone to send to Antioch, dispatched Barnabas.  Once he arrived, he encouraged them to remain true to the Lord.  Barnabas was a friend.  Many feared and shunned Paul, the former Christian persecutor, but Barnabas befriended him and invited him to join him in his Antioch mission.  Barnabas was compassionate.  Barnabas, take us to Antioch with you.  Teach us how to encourage those who want to know the Lord.  Introduce us to those who feel shunned and lonely.  Show us how to be compassionate to the discouraged.  Show us how to reveal others' potential.  Show us how to be a compassionate encourager and friend, good, and filled with the Spirit and faith.
    St. Barnabas
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Salt of the earth, light of the world":  Jesus used ordinary images to convey extraordinary truths that transform us.  Salt was a valuable commodity.  People traded with it, and it flavored and preserved food.  Jesus used the image of salt to describe the transforming effect of God's work and how the Spirit wants to work through us to bring God's power and blessing to others.  As salt purifies, preserves, and flavors our food, we disciples of Jesus are 'salt' for human society.  The Lord wants us to help purify, preserve, and spread the flavor of God's kingdom of justice, peace, and joy in the Spirit."
Salt was put into ovens to intensify the heat, then when no longer useful, thrown onto the ground where it would get stepped on and swept away.  The Lord wants us to preserve our "saltiness" through virtuous living and rejection of sin, for our sake and others'.  We're called to be "the aroma of Christ to God among those being saved and among those perishing."  May we let the fragrance of Christ's love, truth, and holiness permeate every area of our life...
Jesus also used the image of light to illustrate God's transforming work.  Lamps enable people to see and work in the dark and avoid stumbling.  Light also symbolized God's beauty, truth, and goodness of God.  "In his light we see light ." "His word is a lamp that guides us."  God illumines our darkness and fills us with spiritual light, joy, and peace.  As natural light enables one to see, so the light of Christ shines in believers and enables us to see God's kingdom.  Our mission is to bear the light of Christ so others may see the truth of the gospel and be freed from sin and deception....
Dress legend
  • 'Lights' tie, 'street light' tie bar:  You are the light of the world; shine before others, as lighted lamps give light to all (gospel)

  • 'Feet' pin:  Flat salt is good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot (gospel)

  • 'Alps' pin:  A city set on a mountain can't be hidden (gospel)

  • 'Heart' tie pin:  Barnabas encouraged them to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart (1st reading);
  • 'Dove' tie pin:  Barnabas was filled with the Spirit (1st reading)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  A large number was added to the Lord....  They taught a large number... (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  In Antioch the disciples were first 'called' Christians (1st reading)
  • 'Hands' 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,' 'horn' pins:  With trumpets and the sound of the horn,... (psalm)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' tie pin:  ...sing joyfully before the Lord (psalm);  Barnabas rejoiced at God's grace (1st reading)
  • 'Scales of justice' pin:  The Lord has revealed his justice (psalm)
  • Red shirt for feast of apostle Barnabas

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