Monday, June 11, 2007

Blessed Vision

It's the feast of St. Barnabas today, the man who "saw the grace of God."
When you reflect on what the Bible says about Barnabas, it is quite impressive. "He was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith" (and he "saw the grace of God"). All the Bible says about St. Joseph was "he was a just man."
And then think about Barnabas' great contribution to the Church: he was, in a way, the precursor to Paul, the way John the Baptist was the Lord's precursor. Just as John was sent "to prepare the way for one greater," so was Barnabas. In the first community of disciples, Barnabas was a very important fellow! When he gave an opinion, even the Apostles took it to heart. When Barnabas vouched for the new convert, Saul, the former persecutor was welcomed into the Church. It was Barnabas who went to look for Saul to give him a place and a mission in the Church in Antioch. Barnabas was the leader on the first missionary voyage. And then... Saul-become-Paul "grew" to his full apostolic stature, and it was Barnabas who knew: "he must increase and I must decrease."
That's a marvelous kind of heroism.
But it starts with eyes that "see the grace of God."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I heard today's reading and comments from a dear Vietnamese priest assigned to our parish, it was not clear how impressive a saint Barnabas was. thanks for clarifying things for me with today's inspiring blog. spqr