Friday, June 12, 2015

Encouragement: Daily Mass Homily--Thursday, June 11th, 2015 (Memorial of St. Barnabas)

(Listen to this homily here).

            St. Barnabas was known for being a man of encouragement—his very name is “son of encouragement.”  Acts records: “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.”
            Each of us has a basic human need of affirmation.  We appreciate when we are complimented, built up or affirmed.
            On the other hand, do we use our words to build others up?  Do you affirm your wife?  Children?  Coworker?  Or do your words pick away, tear down or hurt?
            One of the wisest pieces of formation I received in seminary was from one of my priest mentors who always said, “Learn to see the good in the other.”  I am an analytical person and I find it much easier to notice flaws, weaknesses or failures.  It can be more challenging to see the good in the person that bugs you!  I don’t think I am alone in this and learning to be men and women of encouragement requires learning to see the good in others.
            Following the example of St. Barnabas, let’s encourage and affirm the people God has put in our life.  May we have the grace to see the good—the inherent dignity—of our brothers and sisters today.

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