Barnabas, a Jew of Cyprus, comes as close as anyone outside the Twelve to being a full-fledged apostle. He was closely associated with St. Paul (he introduced Paul to Peter and the other apostles) and served as a kind of mediator between the former persecutor and the still suspicious Jewish Christians.
When a Christian community developed at Antioch, Barnabas was sent as the official representative of the Church of Jerusalem to incorporate them into the fold. He and Paul instructed in Antioch for a year, after which they took relief contributions to Jerusalem.
Later, Paul and Barnabas, now clearly seen as charismatic leaders, were sent by Antioch officials to preach to the Gentiles. Enormous success crowned their efforts. After a miracle at Lystra, the people wanted to offer sacrifice to them as gods—Barnabas being Zeus, and Paul, Hermes—but the two said, “We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God” (see Acts 14:8-18).
But all was not peaceful. They were expelled from one town, they had to go to Jerusalem to clear up the ever-recurring controversy about circumcision and even the best of friends can have differences. When Paul wanted to revisit the places they had evangelized, Barnabas wanted to take along John Mark, his cousin, author of the Gospel (April 25), but Paul insisted that, since Mark had deserted them once, he was not fit to take along now. The disagreement that followed was so sharp that Barnabas and Paul separated, Barnabas taking Mark to Cyprus, Paul taking Silas to Syria. Later, they were reconciled—Paul, Barnabas and Mark.
When Paul stood up to Peter for not eating with Gentiles for fear of his Jewish friends, we learn that “even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy” (see Galatians 2:1-13).
Barnabas is mentioned by name as one of the generous members of the idyllic and extremely poor Church in Jerusalem: "The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. . . . There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.
"Thus Joseph, also named by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated 'son of encouragement.), a Levite, a Cypriot by birth, sold a pieace of property that he owned, then broguht the moeny and put it at the feet of the apostles" (Acts 4:32, 34-37).
Barnabas is spoken of simply as one who dedicated his life to the Lord. He was a man "filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thereby large numbers were added to the Lord." Even when he and Paul were expelled from Antioch in Pisidia (modern-day Turkey), they were "filled with joy and the Holy Spirit."
Mother Mary, little did you know what God had in store for you. Yet your confidence and faith in God never failed. May your example of simple day-to-day faith help us to unfold the presence of your Son, Jesus, in all we do.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
If you notice a feeling of impatience arising, immediately have recourse to prayer.
The moments when God was working in my soul
The interior of my soul is like a large and magnificent world in which God and I live. Except for God, no one is allowed there. At the beginning of this life with God, I was dazzled and overcome with awe. His radiance blinded me, and I thought He was not in my heart; and yet those were the moments when God was working in my soul. Love was becoming purer and stronger, and the Lord brought my will into the closest union with His own holy Will. No one will understand what I experience in that splendid palace of my soul where I abide constantly with my Beloved. No exterior thing hinders my union with God. Even if I used the most forceful words, they would not express even a shadow of how my soul revels in happiness and inexplicable love, as great and pure as the spring from which it flows; that is, God himself. My spirit is so pervaded with God that I feel it physically, and the body partakes of these joys. Although it happens that God's touches vary in the same soul, they come, however, from the same source. - (Diary No. 582)