Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The importance of affirmation: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

When [Barnabas] arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.  And a large number of people was added to the Lord.”
Barnabas was a man of affirmation and encouragement.  His very name means son of encouragement.
In light of his witness to quickly affirm, it is good to reflect on whether or not we encourage others in our lives.  I know I need to continually work on this.  In my heart and mind I am often grateful for what others do for me, but I must be conscientious in making these sentiments known explicitly.
When I prepare couples for marriage, I give them a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  His theory is that each of us tend to show love and receive love in five different (though not exclusive) ways: physical touch, acts of service, giving gifts, quality time and words of affirmation.  While this book is written specifically for couples, I recommend this book to everyone as it contains many good nuggets for any relationship.  Chapman’s work only strengthens the need to be affirming in our lives.  Each of us (whether or not our primary love language is affirmation) appreciates kind words.
Such words are a crucial part of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Thanks to Barnabas’ loving appeal, “…a large number of people was added to the Lord.”  In this spirit, I would like to thank you for your faithfulness to coming to Mass each day.  It inspires me and makes my experience of celebrating Mass all the more.
May we, like St. Barnabas, be sons and daughters of encouragement.

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