Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Before St Francis

It is unfortunate when we think of Saints that sell what they have and give it away, I dare say the first name that pops into our mind is St. Francis. In fact, long before saint Francis with have the Apostle who we celebrate today.

He was a Jew from Cyprus and his parents named him Joseph, but like many he received a new name, the name we know him by, Barnabas. The Aramaic name literally means "son of the prophet." But St. Luke chooses in Acts 4:36 to translate prophet in Aramaic with the very same greek word we talked about yesterday parakleseos, encouragement.

It makes sense because what is the job of the prophet? —Not fortune telling but calling people to God. For the Apostles and for us it is calling people to Christ.

While there are a few out there who read a book and were by it drawn to the faith. For most, like myself, it was the experience of a person, who drew us close to them, and in them we saw the faith being lived, in them we experienced the love of Christ, in a way we never had before, and we were drawn into the Church.

On this feast of St. Barnabas we are reminded that we should not be afraid to draw close to people, and share our faith, let them see the love of Christ working in us, we too can be sons and daughters of encouragement.