Memorial: Saint Barnabas, Apostle

Ordinary Time
Thursday of the Tenth Week

“Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul ...” (Acts of the Apostles 11:25)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“Now it is good to read through the history what Jeremiah suffered among the people, in reference to whom he said, “I said: No more shall I speak or name the name of the Lord,” and again elsewhere, “I have unceasingly been an object of derision.” But whatever he also suffered at the hand of the reigning king of Israel has been written in his prophecy. But that those from among the people came frequently to stone even Moses has also been written, and the stones of that place were not his homeland, but those following him were, that is, the people, by whom he too was dishonored. And Isaiah is reported to have been cut up by the people. Now, if someone does not accept this report because it is found in the apocryphal Isaiah, let him believe in what is written in the letter to the Hebrews: “They were stoned, cut up, put to the test.” The “cut up” is referred to Isaiah, just as the verse “they were murdered by the sword” applies to Zechariah, who was murdered “between the temple and the altar,” as the Savior taught bearing witness, I believe, to a writing not contained in the shared and publicly accepted books but to one that is probably apocryphal. But they were dishonored by the Jews and went about “in sheepskins, in goatskins, impoverished, suffering tribulation” and the following. For “all who desire to live uprightly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Now it is probably because he learned that a prophet cannot have honor “in his homeland,” that Paul, having proclaimed the word in many other places, did not preach in Tarsus.” (Commentary Matthew, 10)

O God,
Who decreed that Saint Barnabas,
a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
should be set apart to convert the nations,
grant that the Gospel of Christ,
which he strenuously preached,
may be faithfully proclaimed by word and by deed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen