Encouragement and Support

Today, the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Barnabas or San Barnaba. He is originally named Joseph; born in Cyprus to a Levitical Jewish family. The apostles nickname him Barnabas, which in Aramaic means “Son of Encouragement” or “Son of Consolation” (Acts 4:36) because of his skill in motivating others. He is a great encourager. He is instrumental, as we see in the first reading of today, in supporting the newly established Christian communities, which are met with suspicion by the authorities in Jerusalem, especially because of the fact that they are mostly converts from paganism. Today’s world needs people who can offer great encouragement, support, and consolation, just like Barnabas.

Problem Resolution

In Jerusalem, the news spreads that pagans have joined the Christian community in Antioch. A great shiver is felt among the elders, causing concern. Barnabas is dispatched. In response to the situation, he decisively urges the new converts to remain steadfast in their faith. Barnabas has a talent for uplifting those he encounters, focusing on the positive aspects, and finding solutions. He is an expert in managing conflicts and dicey situations. He is a unifying force, leaving behind a legacy of encouragement. As a parent, a colleague at work, an employer, or a parishioner in a local parish, how do you manage difficult situations that arise from time to time?

Today, the Church faces a lot of criticism and discouragement. In these challenging times, we need individuals who, like Barnabas, can build up rather than tear down, fostering unity and communion despite differing beliefs. The call is for each one of us to adopt a spirit of encouragement, helping others recognise their strengths and progress and contributing positively to their communities.


Barnabas demonstrates his leadership and support by speaking on behalf of Saul and presenting him to the apostles when no one else trusts him, due to his (Saul’s) antecedents (Acts 9:27). He subsequently embarks on journeys with Paul to spread the gospel to diverse regions, facing challenges along the way. Despite disagreements, such as the one leading to the separation of paths between Paul and Barnabas over Mark’s involvement, Barnabas remains steadfast in his mission of encouraging others and offering an effective support system. His commitment to outreach and his example of an active, supportive church are to be cherished and emulated.

Be a Barnabas today; be an encourager; be a consoler.

St. Barnabas, pray for us.

[Readings: ACTS 11:21B-26; 13:1-3; MT 5:13-16]

Fr. John Bosco Obiako

Fr. JohnBosco Obiako is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu, Nigeria. He is a doctoral student of Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome - Italy, with a special interest in Philosophy and Ethics of technology. He also provides spiritual and pastoral services as Chaplain to African Anglophone Catholic Community in the Diocese of Prato, Italy. Email contact: [email protected]


  1. Benedicta on June 13, 2024 at 1:25 pm

    O St. Barnabas pray for us; that we may be able to adopt the spirit of encouragement and to be a consoler.

    Thank you Fr for this nice reflection.

  2. WiniFred Chiamaka on June 13, 2024 at 10:43 am

    Like Barnabas on the side of Paul to foster co-existence, if we do not have anything material to aid others, we can offer Encouragement.

    There is a saying: that a “Millionaire could be someone who has affected a million lives positively”.

    Keep propagating the Good News Fr John Bosco, if you relent, that drop 💧 in an ocean ll b missing forever.

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