Meditation for the Day

Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle, June 11

May the Wonder and the Truth of the Gospel Message Transform Our Lives, So That We May Joyfully Give Witness to Its Message of Love and Salvation to All Those Around Us.

Today’s Responsorial Psalm begins with the verse, “Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds.”

And what He has accomplished in each of us is a calling to a new birth, a sharing in His Divine Nature through the saving grace of God’s Merciful Love which we have all received through the salvific mission of Jesus Christ – through His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

You and I are each called to become the extension of Christ’s selfless Love to others whom our lives touch; we are each called to be Christ-like in whatever vocation in life we embrace, on whatever path we may find ourselves traveling – for we are all pilgrims in this walk of faith which is ours, as you and I journey towards our eternal reward.

When Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visited the United States back in 2008, he had given a speech to a large number of youth and their families at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York.

During his talk, he turned to the topic of vocations and emphasized that families are indispensable in forming vocations to the priesthood or religious life, and also those called to serve Christ through the selfless giving of oneself to another through the Sacrament of Matrimony. Pope Benedict stated, “It is in families that vocations are given life.”

Our Holy Father, in declaring that the Church is to be a “community of hope”, went on by saying, “The hope which never disappoints is Jesus Christ. The saints show us the selfless love of His way.”

Today, we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Barnabas, who came about as close as anyone could, outside the original Twelve, to being a full-fledged Apostle, and it is traditionally believed by some Biblical scholars that he was one of Christ’s original 72 disciples.

He was closely associated with Saint Paul, and, as the Acts of the Apostles tell us (but not in today’s Reading), he was the one who introduced Paul to Peter and the other Apostles.

And Barnabas also served as a kind of mediator between Paul and the early Jewish Christians, as they were still suspicious and hesitant in trusting Paul, since he was still remembered as Saul, the former persecutor who was present at and oversaw the stoning to death of Stephen, one of the first deacons.

As today’s First Reading tells us, Barnabas “was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord.” Barnabas was a man who dedicated his life to the Gospel message, even to the point of his own death, for some traditions tell us that he was possibly stoned to death around the year 61 A.D.

He truly lived up to the mission of apostleship, for he was a true missionary in every sense of the term, giving witness to the Gentile peoples, along-side of Paul, giving witness to the only truth that matters – God’s Truth, responding to our Lord’s command which we find in Matthew’s Gospel, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”

When we reflect upon the lives of the Apostles, including Paul and Barnabas, they truly show us the example of what it means to be disciples for Jesus Christ. It is through their example and our own acts of discipleship whereby we can sing along with today’s psalmist: “Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.”

Most of us may never be called upon to live a life of apostleship, going forth as missionaries into foreign lands to give witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but our Church recognizes the importance of looking to the lives of its saints, for it is through their examples of virtue and faith which teach us the true meaning behind discipleship and being faithful followers of our Lord.

For it is through the opening of our hearts to God’s Truth, and allowing His Spirit to guide us in showing both our loved ones and those whom our lives touch, through our good example, of what it truly means to be a Christian people, what it truly means to live the virtues of love and mercy in all our endeavors, which will enable others to experience, as Pope Benedict stated, “the Hope which never disappoints.”

And that Eternal Hope is Jesus Christ. For it is through the lives of people like Saint Barnabas, whom we remember in a special way today, who “show us the selfless love” of God’s way.

Let us pray that the wonder and the truth of the Gospel message may transform our lives, so that we may joyfully give witness to its message of love and salvation to all those around us.

Lord Jesus, through the grace given to us by Your Spirit of Love, grant that we may spread Your Truth and Your Light in whatever You ask of us and wherever we go.

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done marvelous deeds.” (Psalm 98:1a)
  • “[Barnabas] was a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith.” (Acts 11:24a)
  • “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” (Matthew 10:8bc)
  • “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world…your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:13a, 14a, 16)
  • “His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature…” (2 Peter 1:3-4b)
  • “He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began.” (2 Timothy 1:9)
  • “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3-4)
  • “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.” (James 1:22)
  • “Whoever confers benefits will be amply enriched, and whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25)
  • “In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)
  • “But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

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Prayer for the Day

“Will you let me be your servant?
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.

“We are pilgrims on a journey;
We are travelers on the road;
We are here to help each other,
Walk the mile and bear the load.

“I will hold the Christ-light for you.
In the night-time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you,
Speak the peace you long to hear.

“I will weep when you are weeping;
When you laugh I’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow,
Till we’ve seen this journey through.

“When we sing to God in Heaven,
We shall find such harmony.
Born of all we’ve known together,
Of Christ’s Love and Agony.

“Will you let me be your servant?
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.”

The Servant Song (Words and Music by Richard Gillard)

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The Servant Song, a hymn which is rich in the faith we profess, a very moving song which complements the “Prayer for the Day” in today’s meditation. I pray you will enjoy it.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Pk2NHKg_o

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