Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle
Readings: Acts 11:21b-26; 12:1-3; PS 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6; Mt 5:33-37
Notes: Saint Paul, whom I love, was quite the character.
The Lord can lead us even when we are mistaken. But as Jesus tells us in the gospel portion today the path of truth.
Do not make false statements and do not swear oaths:
a. as if by Heaven (you get their by grace, not your power).
b. as if by Earth (you are steward, not creator).
c. as if by politics (you have obligation, not lordship).
d. as if by head of household (you have love, not manipulation).
do not make the holy impure.
do not make the profane evil.
Regarding Paul and Barnabas
His approach to the question of Jewish customs and circumcision was correctly understood and poorly delivered. A great division was possible. But by the grace of the Holy Spirit all these: Paul, Peter, John-Mark and Barnabas were reconciled and purified, by their own path of faith.
And the rest of the Jews also acted hypocritically along with him, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy (Col 2:13).
Reflection (important read from Franciscans)
Barnabas is spoken of simply as one who dedicated his life to the Lord. He was a man “filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thereby, large numbers were added to the Lord.” Even when he and Paul were expelled from Antioch in Pisidia—modern-day Turkey—they were “filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”
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.
The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees; and favor me with your law.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the Evil One.
And also remember, it is the Holy Spirit who refines and leads the faithful.
Peace be with you,