11 June – Feast of St Barnabas, Apostle and marytr
Acts 11:21 – 13:3
The Lord helped them, and a great number believed and were converted to the Lord. The church in Jerusalem heard about this and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. There he could see for himself that God had given grace, and this pleased him, and he urged them all to remain faithful to the Lord with heartfelt devotion; for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. And a large number of people were won over to the Lord.
Barnabas then left for Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. As things turned out they were to live together in that church a whole year, instructing a large number of people. It was at Antioch that the disciples were first called ‘Christians.’
In the church at Antioch the following were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. One day while they were offering worship to the Lord and keeping a fast, the Holy Spirit said, ‘I want Barnabas and Saul set apart for the work to which I have called them.’ So it was that after fasting and prayer they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘As you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge. Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with a few coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or spare tunic or footwear or a staff, for the workman deserves his keep.
‘Whatever town or village you go into, ask for someone trustworthy and stay with him until you leave. As you enter his house, salute it, and if the house deserves it, let your peace descend upon it; if it does not, let your peace come back to you.’
As things turned out they were to live together in that church a whole year…
A friend shared with me how she had been considering leaving her ministry at her parish. She had been active in that ministry since she was baptized, and wanted to take a break from active service. At the same time, she loved serving at the ministry and didn’t want to leave. As things turned out, something unpleasant happened within that ministry, and unpleasant circumstances forced her to leave.
In today’s reading, we see a series of events taking place to St. Barnabas. First, he was sent to Antioch where he saw that God gave grace to the people there. Then he met Saul, and lived with him for some time to instruct a large number of people. Then, through prayer, the community learned of God’s will to set Barnabas and Saul apart for the work that God had in mind for them.
Lots of good things and bad things take place everyday in the lives of everyone in the world, but it is usually when the bad things happen that we ask God, “Why, Lord?” The challenge for us is to see the Lord’s hand at work in all things that happen to us, the good and the bad. In order to have this, we need to pray daily in order to be aware of God’s presence and activity in our lives daily, so that we can truly see how God works as things turn out in our lives.
(Today’s reflection by Daniel Tay)
Prayer: Dear Lord, grant us the desire to spend time each day in prayer, through which your Holy Spirit may reveal to us your presence and activity in our lives each day. Amen.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks to our Lord for being a real and constant presence in our lives each day, and for always directing us according to His will, even at times when we are not aware of it.
12 June, Thu – 1 Kings 18:41-46; Matthew 5:20-26
13 June, Fri – 1 Kings 19:9a. 11-16; Matthew 5:27-32
14 June, Sat -1 Kings 19:19-21; Matthew 5:33-37
15 June, Sun – Exodus 19:2-6a; Romans 5:6-11; Matthew 9:36-10:8; Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
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