Thursday, 11 June 2009

Clashing feasts

Today (June 11) is one of those years when two festivals of the Church clash. There are rules for deciding which festival takes precedence...but not always easy to follow in practice. 
Today is the feast of StBarnabas. Significant for those of us trained at a college under that saints patronage. It's suggested that Barnabas was actually his nickname (like many of the apostles Peter and Thomas, Bartholomew, Simon Zealotes etc...) and the Greek text suggests that it means Son (bar ...) of encouragement. The Aramaic doesn't quite work, but that's what the Greek says!
And it does give us food for thought about what Barnabites might be like. Indeed what all Christians might be encouraged to be...sons and daughters of encouragement! Not always something we are noted for.
Any way, it seems like a worthy aspiration.
Too often our "encouragement" is treating people roughly and justifying on the basis that we should be tough (the sink or swim method)...if you read the Barnabas story in Acts. That's not what he does. His way of encouragement seems to be to support the weakest link when they  have no friends or allies
It's also the feast of Corpus Christi when we particularly give thanks for the Sacrament of Holy Communion. I think it is pretty encouraging that we have faith that we can encounter God in the simple things of life, like and in particular...bread and wine. And that God can be vulnerable by being tangible and ordinary...but I am slipping into sermon mode

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about then, slipping into sermon mode on the Coromandel Preachings.
Some of us are waiting .... a little impatiently.