June 11, 2011
Memorial of Saint Barnabas, apostle
Jesus said to the Twelve: “As you go, proclaim the good news, ´The kingdom of heaven has come near´. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this day, I trust in your unfailing providence. You are the deepest desire of my heart. In this moment of prayer I want to please you alone. Even though I might be tired or uninspired, even though I might only experience dryness, may this be my prayer: I offer you all I am and all I have.
Petition: Lord, give me the zeal and courage to be your apostle today.
1. As You Go, Proclaim the Good News: As you go to work, to school, to baseball practice, to dinner with friends… –– proclaim Christ in your words, actions and your fidelity to the faith. No baptized Christian is excluded from this noble calling, and no person is to be deprived of their right to hear the message of salvation. “Through his Church Christ entrusts you with the fundamental mission of sharing with others the gift of salvation, and he invites you to participate in building his kingdom. He chooses you, in spite of the personal limitations everyone has, because he loves you and believes in you” (Pope John Paul II, Homily, November 24, 1991).
2. Cure the Sick, Raise the Dead, Cleanse the Lepers, Cast Out Demons: Some members of the Church have a particular charism for healing (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1508). But in a unique way, this statement is directed to Christ’s priests. Every day these men act in persona Christi, that is to say, Christ himself acts personally through them when administering the sacraments. In the sacrament of confession, for example, the priest cures those who are spiritually sick, brings the dead soul back to life, cleanses the leprosy of sin and casts out demons. Even the physical change in one’s demeanor witnesses to what Jesus has just done in that soul. The Kingdom of God is at hand.
3. Take No Gold, or Silver, or Copper in Your Belts: Jesus sets the standard high. What he asks of us can often seem too “lofty,” too unrealistic. Ultimately what Jesus teaches us is to be unafraid to preach the Gospel in word and in truth, to believe in God’s power over sin and the devil, and to trust in Divine Providence. God is our Father, he will provide for our needs. Seek his kingdom, seek his will, do his will. Do I have this kind of confidence in God? If yes, I need to be grateful to God and keep that trust fresh. If no, am I praying sufficiently for this gift of grace?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know my lowliness and how much I need your grace to do your will. Grant me your grace to be an apostle. Help me, especially, to pray as I ought so that I can live as I ought. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.
Resolution: Today, I will visit the Blessed Virgin Mary, before a picture or statue of her, to ask her intercession for all missionaries.
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