Barnabas was the first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles where he is called Joseph, and the surname is Barnabas, meaning, “son of consolation”, that is one who is good in comforting his sisters and brothers, members of the Christian community. He was a Levite and a native of Cyprus. He sold a field which belonged to him, and brought the money and laid it at the feet of the Apostles (Acts 4:36-37) This very first mention of Barnabas in the Acts (4:36) singles out as a supreme example of renunciation and charity which are characteristics of zealous Christian.
The Acts of the Apostles notes about Barnabas that “he was a good man, full of Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24). He is counted among the prophets and teachers in he Church of Antioch (Acts 13:1).
It was the Holy Spirit who wanted to set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work to which He had called them (Acts 13:3). Though he was not among the “Twelve” he has been always honored in the Church as an Apostle. He was one of those who zealously obeyed the Lord’s command, “And preach as you go, saying: The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 10:7).
The feast of Saint Barnabas has been celebrated on 11 June, both in the East and in the West, from the 11th century onwards. It was on 11 June that his body was discovered. He was with Paul in the first missionary journey. After his separation with Paul, Barnabas sailed away to his native land (see Acts 15:40) … to preach the Good News and there he died.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, You filled Saint Barnabas with faith and the Holy Spirit, and set him apart for the conversion of the nations. Grant that the Gospel of Christ which he preached so strenuously, may, in our day, be faithfully proclaimed by word and deed. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jakarta, 11 June 2019
A Christian PIlgrim