Feast of St. Barnabas


Acts 11: 21-26; 13: 1-3
Gospel: Matthew 10: 7-13


Today the Church celebrates the life of St Barnabas, often known as the ‘Son of Encouragement’ and an Apostle, though not one of the twelve. He was significant for his missionary activity in Antioch, where the disciples were first called Christians, and his later work of spreading the Good News with Paul. It seems that wherever he went he was one who encouraged people to remain faithful to the Lord.

In the Gospel today we are encouraged to travel light when we set out on mission. Living, as we do, in a consumerist society where we are bombarded with advertisements trying to convince us that we need their product, it is a challenge to remain free of clutter. I am easily tempted to think the answer to my questions will be in the next book which may then sit on a shelf unopened for many weeks!

We are also aware of many movements that promote ‘living simply’ so that others can simply live. This means that we have choices. Having been on a couple of long plane journeys in recent times I know that I always pack too much. I will take this ‘just in case!’ It is hard to make ‘travel light’ a reality even when it comes to packing for a journey. However, I think the ‘travel light’ can also be understood at a much deeper level.

For me it means trusting that what I need in the moment will be given. Of course, it means preparing for the meeting or whatever the activity is but it also means that I have to trust in God’s providence and the guidance of the Spirit in the moment. Only then am I free to walk with those I meet or to whom I am sent with an open heart and an open mind. Then, with the guidance of the Spirit I can be encouraging, as Barnabas was, and leave heart prints on the way that can be a channel of healing, peace and hope.

Sr. Brigid Murphy CP
Sisters of the Cross & Passion,