Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Proper of the Day: St. Barnabas the Apostle

Tomorrow the Church will observe the Feast of St. Barnabas, Apostle and companion to St. Paul. We remember him as a paragon of stewardship; he was apparently an early convert in Jerusalem, and rich too. He sold off his properties and gave the proceeds for the succor of the poor and needy in the nascent Christian community, as reports Acts in the Second Lesson for Morning Prayer on this feast. There's also a lot about how he was a character witness for the newly converted Paul when many people thought Paul was faking or something. I think we all need that, even those who have been believers for a long time. Being supported and encourage - in this day and age, post-Christian in so many ways, all of us can use all the Barnabases (Barnabii?) we can get. I know I can't do it alone, and I suspect very few of us can.

I'm not sure why Barnabas gets a Major Feast and Timothy doesn't. But be that as it may, the example of Barnabas both as steward of the resources entrusted to him and encourager of Paul and others is well worth noting.

Here's a nice setting of Jam non dicam, "No longer do I call you servants," the Communio (Communion Hymn) appointed for this day:

Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of your faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well­being of your Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


PS - I'm off to the City tomorrow to attend the ordination of a friend. Please pray for Rick of your charity as he begins a changed life by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit!

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