S+L logo

St. Barnabas, Son of Encouragement and Model of Discipleship

June 11, 2014
St Barnabas cropped
On June 11th we celebrate the feast of St. Barnabas. The Church sees him as an apostle though he was not one of the twelve. We first hear about him in the Acts of the Apostles, where he is given the name Barnabas which means “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4).  And he lived up to his name. When Paul needed someone to support him after his conversion, it was St. Barnabas who supported Paul and had him received by the apostles.
St. Barnabas was also sent on a mission to investigate the new converts at Antioch. He persuaded St. Paul to go to Antioch and begin the missionary work with him; and there, in Antioch was where the followers of Christ were first called Christians (Acts 11).
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we need to live our faith like St. Barnabas to:
1)    Be an encourager.  To encourage one another in the faith, avoid being judgmental or gossiping about people and to build bridges, not barriers.
2)    Study the faith.  St. Barnabas encouraged the early Christians to remain faithful to the Lord. We need to practice our faith by celebrating the sacraments worthily. The Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation are God’s gracious gifts to the Church. Celebrating them will help us get closer to the Lord, while reading Sacred Scripture and the Catechism will help us remain faithful to Him and His teachings.
3)    Witness to the gospel.  St. Barnabas encountered hardships but he continued to persevere in spreading the gospel. The secular world of today needs the good news of Christ. We need to witness with boldness and love; and at all times, avoid being harsh. For this, we must always pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance.
4)    Dialogue with others.  Without undermining or compromising our Catholic beliefs, we need to dialogue with people of opposing views.
St. Barnabas Church in Scarborough is a community of faith, encouragement and hope. It is blessed to have St. Barnabas as its patron and namesake. Through his intercession may we all come to experience the fullness of God’s all-embracing peace and fellowship in parish life.
This post comes to us from Fr. Edwin Gonsalves, former Pastor of St. Barnabas Parish, Scarborough and presently Rector of St. Augustine's Seminary. We thank Fr. Gonsalves for his insights into the life and legacy of this great saint.
(Photo courtesy biblicalarchaeology.org)
Related posts
Christmas urges us to reflect on the Mystery of the Incarnation. In a short video series, Fr. Eric Nicolai, an Opus Dei priest and art expert, helps us reflect on this mystery through religious art fr ...read more
Beatification Mass of Fr. Solanus Casey: Homily of Cardinal Angelo Amato
FacebookTwitter
Click here to watch the full mass On Saturday, November 18, 2017, at the Ford Field Stadium in Detroit, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, beatified Fr. Sola ...read more
Being Christian is not the Result of an Ethical Choice
FacebookTwitter
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – October 29th, 2017 Today’s first reading from Exodus (22:21-27) and Matthew’s Gospel story about the greatest commandment (22:34-40) challenge us ...read more
Dr. Thérèse, Heal us and pray for us!
FacebookTwitter
Thérèse Martin was born on January 2, 1873, in France. After their mother died, her two older sisters, Pauline and Marie, entered the Carmelite convent of Lisieux. These losses plunged young Thérè ...read more
St. Teresa of Calcutta, one year later…
FacebookTwitter
Exactly one year ago today, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata) was proclaimed a Saint in St. Peter’s Square before tens of thousands of people from around the entire world. Tomorrow, September 5, ...read more