Wednesday 4 March 2015

Saint Barnabas, Apostle

It is not easy when people that we know and have come to love and appreciate need to part ways and be transferred elsewhere. We try to cling on to them, since we have already become familiar with their habits and idiosyncrasies. Eventually, the person would need to move on, as is usually the case for priests and religious. As priests and religious, we are given responsibility to care for a community only for a certain period of time, and once the time is up, we move on to other places where we would be needed. "This is the story of our lives," as one elderly padre quipped ("and we will drink to that" is the response, as the same elderly padre also remarked).

In today's reading, we are told: "the Holy Spirit said, 'I want Barnabas and Saul set apart for the work to which I have called them.' So it was that after fasting and prayer they laid their hands on them and sent them off." God requires us to be ever ready and willing to move to different places at different times to serve different communities. Our being in a place is merely transient, and sometimes moving off could be a good thing, since it offers us opportunities to grow and mature. May we be humble and joyful in moving on when the time comes, and continue to do the will of God for His greater glory.

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