St Barnabas, an apostle of the early Church had three qualities which are important for men discerning a vocation and for the priesthood. He was optimistic, helpful and open to the Holy Spirit.
To be optimistic is a wonderful quality. It is a quality which lifts others up and is encouraging. In the Acts of the Apostles it says that St Barnabas ‘urged them all to remain faithful to the Lord with heartfelt devotion.” So we can see why St Barnabas was called “Son of consolation”.
St Barnabas was helpful. he assisted St Paul in his ministry (Acts of the Apostle 11:21-26; ;13:1-3). Being helpful is an important quality to have. Helpful people get things done and St Paul would have certainly appreciated St Barnabas’ assistance.
Finally St Barnabas was open to the Holy Spirit and did what the Holy Spirit asked of him. As you discern your vocation, openness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit is required, so we may do God’s will and not our own.
St Barnabas gives us an example of a man open to doing the Lord’s work, which we are all called to do. His qualities give food for thought as we reflect on our own qualities, to examine and improve them as we discern God’s will for us.
Kind regards and God bless
Fr Eamon Kennedy
13th June 2013