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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

June 11th: St. Barnabas, Apostle

1st Reading (Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3): In those days a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.

For a whole year they met with the Church and taught a large number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 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». Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off.
Responsorial Psalm: 98
R/. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.

The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.

Sing praise to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the Lord.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 5:12): Alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Alleluia.
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. Do not carry any gold, silver or copper in your purses. Do not carry a traveler's bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or walking-stick: workers deserve their living. When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people in the house deserve it, your peace will be on them; if they do not deserve it, your blessing will come back to you».

«Go and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life...»

Fr. Jordi POU i Sabater (Sant Jordi Desvalls, Girona, Spain)

Today, we celebrate the apostle Joseph, «a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means “Son of Encouragement”)» (Acts 4:36). He was generous from the beginning: «And who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the Apostles' feet» (Acts 4:37). He brought St. Paul to the Apostles, who were afraid of him and, with Paul, they opened the apostolate to all peoples. First, in Antioch, where «when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people were added unto the Lord» (Acts 11:23-24). His apostolic zeal was an example, as he was putting into practice the Master's commandment: «Go and proclaim this message ‘The kingdom of heaven is near’» (Mt 10:7).

«Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them» (Acts 13:2), proclaimed the Holy Spirit: they went to Cyprus and Asia Minor, and suffered greatly for their Lord. They had differences of opinion and even parted because of Mark, who quitted half of the way, and Paul did not accept him on their next journey; but Barnabas knew how to trust Mark and, later on, we will see him as a great collaborator of Peter and Paul.

Let us learn not to classify people into boxes, for «souls, like good wine, improve with time» (St. Josemaria), when we support them with our confidence and we love them, for «nobody can be really known unless we love him» (St. Augustine).

When we see somebody weakening or retreating, let us persevere just as Barnabas did, whose namesake also means “brave man”, and “he who encourages and enthuses”. These are characteristics very much in need of today. This is why we turn to the Lord with the words of the Collect: «God our Father, you filled St. Barnabas with faith and the Holy Spirit and sent him to convert the nations. Help us to proclaim the Gospel by word and deed».