Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Roland Onuekwusi Chidiebere, CMF


Memorial of St. Barnabas, apostle

*Good man, filled with the Holy Spirit & faith.

*For the first time they were called Christians

*Reconcile, forgive, let go!

We are presented with a ‘naturally good man’, who nourishes his goodness with the gospel values; very much in love with the growth of the young Christian faith. God inspires him to take the tough option of pairing himself with Paul. Obviously, it takes a whole lot of trust to muster the courage to invite Paul at that given time, considering his activities before conversion and the way he was sent packing from Jerusalem back to Tarsus, after his conversion. Trust the Holy Spirit who sees from within inspires us! He filled Barnabas, led him to go for Paul. One would say that by offering Paul the new missionary job, he actually brought him to the limelight! How much do you trust that in spite of our natural human differences, we can always carry the Gospel together, allow it to transform us to others’ admiration and edification? Barnabas and Paul promoted this trend of ‘new Christian living’. They placed the Good News at the centre and the result was the nickname “Christians”. What a blessing!

In the Gospel reading, our Lord Jesus Christ takes us beyond the effect: from ‘to kill’ to the root cause ‘anger’. What an energy there is in anger! Sometimes I see people shaking, actually rocking with abuses and violence in the name of being angry! In such a state, one can lose one’s comportment and even coordinated reasoning. Our Lord says, ‘calm down!’ Bring your neighbour to a one-on-one dialogue. All those whom Jesus succeeded in bringing to a one-on-one dialogue got transformed, beginning from Nicodemus to the Samaritan woman at the well and the woman caught committing adultery. It is the best route to new life in Christ: reconciliation through dialogue.

May the lovely, generous man, filled with the Holy Spirit, St. Barnabas pray for us that we persevere in our process of transformation in Christ to the end, amen. 


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