Today is the Feast of St. Barnabas, apostle. St. Barnabas accompanied St. Paul the Apostle on many journeys and his ministry was eventually overshadowed by Paul’s. Nevertheless, it it hadn’t been for Barnabas, Paul may never have become the great missionary he did. After Paul was converted on the road to Damascus and baptized by Ananias, he went out and preached the gospel with fervor, but the apostles in Jerusalem were hesitant to accept him among their fold, fearing he was a spy. It was Barnabas who welcomed him and vouched for him before the other apostles.
When he arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. Then Barnabas took charge of him and brought him to the apostles, and he reported to them how on the way he had seen the Lord and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. -Acts 9:26-27
Paul and Barnabas became a great team and made many Christians together before parting ways for different ministries. They even went together to the Council of Jerusalem, where it was decided that Gentile Christians were not held to the Mosaic Law. In the end, Barnabas was stoned to death for preaching the gospel in Salamis, Cyprus.
St. Barnabas is a strong role model for priests and all Christians because of his willingness to reach out to those in the margins and to accompany his brothers-in-ministry for the sake of the gospel.