Today the church remembers Saint Barnabas the Apostle.Barnabas, a Jew from the island of Cyprus, was not one of the Twelve of our Lord's disciples. However, he may have been one of the Seventy. He came to be so closely associated with the early church that he is customarily called an apostle. When Barnabas joined the Christian church it was for keeps, as he demonstrated when he sold his land and gave the proceeds to the company of those who believed. It was Barnabas who discovered Paul and brought him into the Christian community. Paul and Barnabas became great friends. Together they nurtured the young church at Antioch. They went on missionary journeys together and seem to have been an impressive team. Both seem to have continued to hold secular employment for some time after taking up their ecclesiastical roles. Barnabas was also a friend to Mark, the Evangelist (see April 25), and they did missionary work together. Barnabas is regarded as the founder of the church on his native Cyprus and is alleged to have been martyred at Salamis in 61. O God, whose Son Jesus Christ has taught us that it is more blessed to give than to receive: Help us, by the example of your apostle and servant Barnabas, to be generous in our judgments and unselfish in our service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
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Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of your faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the wellbeing of your Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.