Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle

“Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:3.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” What does “worshiping” mean? It means preaching. “Set apart Barnabas and Saul.” What does “set apart for me” mean? It means for the work, for the apostleship. Remember who ordained him? Lucius the Cyrenean and Manaen, or rather, one should say, the Spirit. For the more lowly the personages involved, the more palpable the grace of God. Paul is ordained henceforth to apostleship, to preach with authority. How is it then that he himself says, “Not from men nor by men?” Because it was not humankind that called him or brought him over. This is what “or by men” means. For this reason he says that he was not sent by this man but by the Spirit.” (Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, 27.)

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.

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