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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Saint Barnabas, apostle - Memorial
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Saint Barnabas, the apostle who announces that the Kingdom of heaven is near


Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church 
Homilies on the Gospel, no. 30 ; PL 76, 1220 (trans. ©Cistercian publications Inc., 1990)
Saint Barnabas, the apostle who announces that the Kingdom of heaven is near

“How can I love one I do not know?”... While we cannot see God, there is something we can do to open a way for the eye of our understanding to come to him. It is certain that we can see now in his servants one whom we can in no way see in himself. When we see them doing astonishing things, we can be sure that God dwells in their hearts... None of us can look directly at the rising sun by gazing at its orb. Our eyes are repelled as they strain to see its rays. But we look at mountains bathed in sunlight and see that it has risen. Because we cannot see the Sun of righteousness (Mal 3,20) himself, let us see the mountains bathed in his brightness, I mean the holy apostles. They shine with virtues and gleam with miracles... The power of his divinity is in itself like the sun in the sky;  in human beings it is like the sun shining on earth... 

We make our way by foot on earth without stumbling if we love God and our neighbor with our whole heart (Mt 22,37f.)... That is why the Holy Spirit was given a second time to the disciples. First it was given by the Lord while he was still dwelling on earth, and later while he is watching over us in heaven (Jn 20,22; Acts 2,2): on earth that we may love our neighbors, from heaven that we may love God. Why first on earth and later from heaven, except for the reason given us openly by John: “How can one person who does not love his brother whom he sees love God whom he does not see?” (1Jn 4,20). Let us love our neighbors, my friends, let us love the one who is near us, so that we may be able to reach the love of the one who is above us... so that they may be found completely worthy to rejoice in God with them.

Source: ©Evangelizo.org 2001-2014
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