One of the things I enjoy most about my home visits is being able to make my meditation in the backyard, on the porch swing (in my pajamas!), with the sun, the breeze, the birds, listening to the neighbor's wind chimes while Mom waters the flowers. And today, on top of all the above, there was my favorite Entrance Antiphon in the liturgy! That antiphon, just a snippet of Scripture, tells us what "the will of God" really is for us: "Let us shout out our joy and happiness, and give glory to God the Lord of all, because He is our king! Alleluia!" This is what life is about; this is why God made us. And my second-favorite Apostle, Barnabas, is there in the first reading to give us a concrete example of how to live this antiphon's "joy and happiness."
Barnabas, first of all, was really named Joseph, but once he joined the Christian community, his joy and happiness in the Lord was such that no one seems to have ever referred to him by his given name. Instead, they called him "Son of Consolation." If you play games with the Bible, you can extrapolate from that to "Son of the Consoler"; "Son of the Paraclete"; "Son of the Holy Spirit": a man "filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith," as Luke will, in fact, describe him later. Imagine the wonderful character this man must have had! (This is the one, you will recall, who vouched for the sincerity of Saul of Tarsus...) Anyway, Barnabas. The reading gives a little description of the community as a place where "no one was ever needy" because anyone who had a bit of something put it in the Apostle's hands to be used for the good of the whole Church. And that is what Barnabas, the Levite from Cyprus, did, selling his land giving the proceeds to the Apostles. Like St. Francis of Assisi, Barnabas then had absolutely nothing to call his own. He had staked everything on the Lord. And throughout the rest of the Scriptures, we continue to see him with that wonderful dispostion described in the Entrance Antiphon.
Today I am praying to the great and noble St. Barnabas to share some of his spirit of faith and joy with me; to really open my mind to the Lordship of God.