DAILY HOLY MASS READINGS: Acts 11:21b-26, 13:1-3, Psalm 98:1-6,
Acts 11:21b-26, 13:1-3
My Beloved we have in the New Testament small but well defined cameos of various people who worked in Your vineyard and gave their lives in imitation of You and for the sake of the Gospel. One such person is St. Barnabas, Apostle and martyr whose feast we celebrate today. We are told that he rejoiced when he saw how powerfully the Holy Spirit was at work among the faithful in Antioch. We are also told that he was a good man filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. What great credentials. No wonder he was able to draw people to You and to kindle in them a desire to know You. St Paul and St. Barnabas together made a powerful duo it would have been truly inspirational to hear them both preach and teach for they would have done so with great vigor and passion born of their conviction, faith and the power of the Holy Spirit with which they were both filled. The Church in Antioch was alive for it was filled with so many powerful men and women all working to spread the Gospel under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist, prayer and fasting must be a part of the way of life of a disciple and follower of Christ.
My Beloved, You chose that I should be alive at this particular period in time. I have been privileged to enjoy the fruits of those who toiled, suffered and were most probably persecuted for the faith that I was blessed to be born into. I have known You ever since I was little and I have grown in my love, faith and knowledge of You through the years. I praise, bless and thank You for all those who have lived in the shadow of death and have been persecuted , who have suffered and perhaps laid down their lives so that today I can freely live my faith, proclaim it and witness to it in my own life.
Beloved, we live in an age where we are driven by our senses these become our ruling passion by day and by night. You on the contrary instruct those who are serious about living the Gospel to carry it with us wherever we may go or be. What is the Gospel's message, the Good News that You desire us to live, preach and teach if we are to spend eternity with You? It is this, the Kingdom of Heaven is near. It is as near to us as we are to ourselves - in fact it is nearer. You are the Kingdom of heaven and we receive the Kingdom in every Eucharist. A normal, committed, prayerful Christian's life overflows with the power of the Triune God and so doing the works of God as enumerated in verse 8, " Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. You received this as a gift, so give it as a gift," should be the norm.
How hard it is to divest ourselves of things. We allow them to become the props on which we lean. We allow the acquiring of things to become the focal point in our lives instead of focusing on You and depending on You to provide for us as well as to satisfy all our needs. The Church is filled with innumerable saints - holy men and women who have shown us by the witness of their lives that it is possible to live totally dependant on You for every need both spiritual and temporal - You can be trusted to provide for those who rely on You completely.
Beloved, should I ever be called to provide shelter for Your anointed may my heart and my door stand wide open. May I provide a generous welcome and may Your blessing of peace rest on my home and on all who dwell within.