Today is the Feast of St. Barnabas. St. Barnabas was a companion of St. Paul, a well-travelled man and a great evangelist. In today’s first reading from Acts, we see the Holy Spirit say, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” And in Matthew’s Gospel, we see Jesus sending out the Twelve saying, “Without cost you have received, without cost you are to give.”
Sometimes it is easy for us to give in to the temptation that we are responsible for any successes in our lives. I can remember many times in the past when I would brag about how I “earned” this or that. After all, I work hard and bust my tail! Sometimes it takes a long time to understand that everything, I mean EVERYTHING is a gift freely given from God. He gives us breath in our lungs, a brain to think…everything. And all without cost to us.
So how do we share these gifts? Do we share these gifts freely, without cost? Or do you “charge” for your gifts? (By the way, this often has nothing to do with money or financial remuneration. More often it is about a tit-for-tat mentality.) If we’re always looking for something in return, then perhaps a rethinking is in order. Maybe making business contacts is not the right reason to join a ministry. We must always check our motivation. Generosity is always best when it seeks nothing in return.
Father, thank you for giving us everything. Help us recognize that all we have is gift. May we freely give of the gifts that you have freely given to us. Amen.