Thursday, 11 June 2009

Feast of St. Barnabas

During this Pauline Year, apart from having the opportunity of deepening my knowledge of St. Paul and understanding of his life and writings, I found myself unconsciously "fell in love" also with the person of Barnabas.
Barnabas seemed to me a humble, simple person. A convert himself, he gave up everything he own to follow Jesus, immersing himself fully at the service of the gospel. His companionship and friendship is what attracted me most. Initiating Paul to the Christian communities, seek him out at Tarsus to join him in the mission and then supporting him through his ministry, allowing Paul to "shine" before him. I believe Barnabas was able to encourage Paul and at the same time challenged him when needed. No doubt Paul and Barnabas went separate ways later, which seemed to mark the broken relationship. Yet, the movie Paul of Tarsus showed that in the end, they reconciled before Paul left for Rome. A strong bond of friendship.
This is perhaps the essence and great example in our missionary work and also in our friendship--to be there for the other, encouraging each other and at the same time, be able to speak the truth, even though at times it costs a lot.

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