June 11, 2020
Malvern Minute

 

Memorial

Saint Barnabas, Apostle

June 11, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Memorial Feast:  Saint Barnabas, Apostle (+61 AD) – Patron Saint of Cyrus

Acts of the Apostles 11:21b-26; 13:1-3

Psalm 98

Matthew 10:7-13

 

I have always been an admirer of Saint Barnabas.  His name, which means “Son of Encouragement,” reminds me of my best friend. Jimmy.  Jimmy and I grew up together in Brooklyn, New York.   We went to school together, played sports together and attended Mass together.  He was a delight to be around, and everyone else was better when he was with us.  He was one of the best advertisements for Christianity I have every known.  Jimmy always had words of encouragement for everyone and never made a personal attack to anyone’s face or behind their back.   Blessed is everyone around a “Barnabas.”

Encouragement is, in my opinion, the eight gift of the Holy Spirit.  Encouragement is not only a gift of the Holy Spirit but also a title.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Encouragement.  The Holy Spirit brings encouragement where it is needed by giving this gift to someone near a person whom He is pleased to encourage and is, thereby, the Spirit of Encouragement that every Barnabas is the son of.

Today we read from the Acts of the Apostles that Barnabas went to Antioch and encouraged everyone “for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.”  This kind of encouragement is more truly a proof of the presence of the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues and prophecy.  The evil spirit gives prophecies, but only the Holy Spirit gives encouragement.  A true Barnabas looks for the God-given gifts in others and is not jealous but rather rejoices.

We Catholic Christians are not all going to preach like Peter, or convert thousands like Paul or have the theological mind of John.  We may not raise the dead or cure the sick or speak in tongues or prophesy, but we all should learn to emulate Barnabas.  We should learn to encourage our brothers and sisters to be better Christians.  We should all be sons and daughters of encouragement.  We should all strive to make this world a better place – for all!

Question of the Day:  When you see a person in need will you listen to the Spirit and offer them encouragement?

Prayer:  Dear Holy Spirit, we come before You today asking for encouragement while doing our work, while raising our families, while pursing our studies, and while helping others.  Amen.

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who have been affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.

Prosit

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