Today’s Thoughts: As I reflect on the readings for the feast of the Apostle, St. Barnabas, which we celebrate today, I am also thinking about my Uncle Joe. June 11th is the anniversary of his death. He died 36 years ago today. He was my only uncle and I guess you could say I looked up to him, both literally and figuratively. He was a big man at least by the standards of those days. He had played football in high school. He was a lineman. He had the personality of a salesman, which he was, not in a negative way, but a positive way. He could talk to anyone and just being around him made you feel at ease. He would call me “Pedro.” I am not sure why as my name is Paul and “Pedro” means Peter, however I didn’t mind and use to look forward to his greeting of “Pedro” whenever the family got together.
Uncle Joe, at least from my perspective, was a positive man always willing to pass along a good word or two. He was fun loving and at times would like to “stir the pot” at family gatherings just to keep things lively. He always seemed to have encouraging words for everyone he met.
I share these things about my uncle today as we celebrate the feast of St. Barnabas. Barnabas’ original name was Joseph. The name Barnabas means “son of encouragement.” I guess in thinking about my uncle I could not help but connect the two. Two men who because of their personalities and their outlook on life brought encouragement and energy to whomever they met. They brought the presence of God. They were gifts in the lives of the people they met. They each did it in their own way and I am grateful for having known them, one in real life and the other in my story of faith.
I am thankful for both Barnabas and Joseph today and may their spirits of encouragement bless all of us as we wander through this day and always!
Have a great Tuesday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...