It is 11th June 2020. We celebrate the memorial of St Barnabas, Apostle. St. Luke hails him, “for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith” (Acts 11:24). The readings are from Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3; and the Gospel from Matthew 10:7-13. Animating others without any animosity.
In the first reading, the Holy Spirit revealed to the apostles to keep someone for spreading love by preaching the Word of God. “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts. 13:2). Some of us chosen for the purpose of encouraging and consoling others. Barnabas was able to notice a unique character in Paul. To do good we do not need an office, title and rank rather a heart full of love, encouragement and consolation is sufficient to reach out.
Encouragement is no longer a word but it is a loving presence, assurance and attitude, soaked in loving actions. Giving hope in times of suffering is encouragement. “Our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation. (II Corinthians 1:5-7).
As our families are overwhelmed with the woes and worries hitting day by day during this pandemic, we need an ocean of encouragement and consolation from you and me. It is time to stand up with someone who slips the grip of life away. In everyone of us there is a spring of encouraging and consoling rivulet running from within. More we channelize it; more we benefit for us and others. It is an ongoing willingness to be around someone to share, shine, for stand up amidst all odds. Seeing good in others and to embrace them with human support colored divinely.
Barnabas is the one who sold his estate and laid the money at the apostles’ feet (Acts 4:34-35). He was sent as an overseer to Antioch. “When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion” (Acts 11:23). What do you see in your family, the parish and the community? Something good and objective or the opposite.
A companion and co-traveler to Paul. “They put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith” (Acts 14:22). By investing his precious time, resources and energy, Barnabas cut out the person in Paul, the Church and Christ wanted.
The responsorial Psalm, “The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.” (Ps.98:2).
The Gospel presents us with the missionary discourse encouraging us to be generous and docile to work for the Lord in challenging conditions of life. “You received without payment; give without payment.” (Mt.10:8). All we have today is received from the generous Giver. “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7). It is by giving we bring someone closer to Jesus.
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). May the help us to emulate St. Barnabas and may he intercede for us all. Have a good day. God bless you.

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