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Liturgical day: June 11th: St. Barnabas, Apostle

Gospel text (Mt 10,7-13): Jesus said to his disciples, «Go and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. You received this as a gift, so give it as a gift (…).

St. Barnabas, Apostle

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI)
(Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, we celebrate the apostle “Barnabas”, that is “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36) or “son of consolation”. He was a Levite Jew, a native of Cyprus. Having settled in Jerusalem, he was one of the first to embrace Christianity after the Lord's Resurrection. With immense generosity, he sold a field which belonged to him, and gave the money to the Apostles for the Church's needs (Acts 4:37). It was he who vouched for the sincerity of Saul's conversion before the Jerusalem community that still feared its former persecutor (cf. Acts 9:27). Sent to Antioch in Syria, he went to meet Paul in Tarsus, where he had withdrawn, and spent a whole year with him there, dedicated to the evangelization of that important city in whose Church Barnabas was known as a prophet and teacher (cf. Acts 13:1). The Church of Antioch sent Barnabas on a mission with Paul, which became known as the Apostle's first missionary journey.

—Together with Paul, he then went to the so-called Council of Jerusalem where after a profound examination of the question, the Apostles with the Elders decided to discontinue the practice of circumcision so that it was no longer a feature of the Christian identity. It was only in this way that, in the end, they officially made possible the Church of the Gentiles, a Church without circumcision; we are children of Abraham simply through faith in Christ.