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11TH JUNE 2022

Today we celebrate The Feast of St Barnabas

Barnabas was not one of the 12 apostles called by Jesus in his earthly ministry. He was one of the early disciples who was converted to the New Way.

He was a Hellenist: a Jew who lived out of Israel and had come into contact with Greek culture and language .

His surname was Joseph.

But his name "Barnabas" means "son of encouragement".

He met Paul and was the first to accept him as a genuine preacher of the Gospel of Christ when all others suspected him (Paul- the former persecutor of the church- Saul))as a pretender.

He sold all his belongings and placed them at the feet of the apostles.

He introduced Paul in the church of Antioch as a true preacher and apostle of Christ Jesus. He helped Paul to be accepted as a preacher of the Gospel . It is in Antioch that the followers of Christ were first called Christians.

The Holy Spirit revealed that he had a special apostolate for Paul and Barnabas. He accompanied Paul in the first ecumenical council in Jerusalem.

This feast reminds us of several things and facts:

1. Our Lord calls us to minister to his church in different ways.

2. The mission of the church is the mission Christ

3. Al our missions are complementary: we all serve the same church and mission of Christ; as such there should be no competition but complementarity of mission.

4. We need to support and encourage one another in our different apostolates in the spirit of St Barnabas.

5. We need to support the church and missionaries working in difficult apostolates and mission lands.

Fr Francis Muriira

OLR Parish - Ridgeways


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