Today we celebrate the feast of St Barnabas who accompanied St Paul on his first missionary journey.
It was Barnabas that brought Paul to meet Peter and the other apostles. He seems to have served as a go-between or mediator between Paul who had been persecuting Christians before his dramatic conversion and the Jewish Christian who were still suspicious of him.
He is described in the Acts of the Apostles as “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24). His name in Aramaic means “Son of encouragement”. His original name was Joseph. This was a name that he was given most probably because he had the gift of exhortation and the ability to inspire others in the faith.
We have a tradition of encouraging our young people who are to be confirmed to choose a name of a saint that will be an encouragement, support and inspiration in their life as a missionary disciple of Jesus. I wonder who we would choose today to be a person that would be an encouragement, support and inspiration to us.