Day 332: Barnabas and Paul's Mission

Acts 11:1-18 The news of Peter’s reception of uncircumcised Gentiles into the Church raised harsh objections from those who had converted from Judaism, but when Peter retold his story, he convinced them that it was the will of God. The major point that won their approval was the fact that the Holy Spirit had descended upon the Gentiles.

Circumcision party: Christians who strongly opposed the Baptism of the uncircumcised. (CCC 60)

Ch 11:14 You and all your household: When men and women were converted and were baptized, they often asked that their entire household be baptized-spouses, children, extended family, and servants. Such households laid the foundation for the growth of Christianity. (CCC 747, 983-987, 1086)

Ch 11:17 The same gift: The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles revealed that they were to be welcomed into the people of God on an equal basis with Jews. (CCC 747, 983-987, 1086)

Ch 11:19-30 Some of the Christian disciples who had fled Jerusalem during the persecutions had begun spreading the Gospel on their own in Gentile territory, even in Antioch, one of the largest cities of the world at the time. Barnabas, whom the Apostles sent to Antioch to govern the community, recruited Saul to Antioch to preach as well. Antioch would serve as a kind of home base for Paul in his later missionary endeavors. (CCC 767)

Ch 11:27 Charisms are granted to the faithful as needed to build up the body of Christ, and each of the faithful receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. (CCC 800, 951)

Ch 11:28-29 Historically, it is reported that famine did strike the region during this period of time. The disciples in Antioch took up a collection from the Church in Judea because charity is one of the hallmarks of the Christian Faith, and the Church calls both individuals and nations that are better off to tend to the needs of their neighbors. (CCC 1826)

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 Paul had preached to the Church at Corinth, but a significant number of its members were new converts and had not yet given up their inordinate carnal behavior. Christians have a responsibility to strive to nourish themselves with the Word of God and the Holy Eucharist. This capacity to be spiritual presupposes the determination to lead a chaste life. (CCC 1306-1310)

Ch 3:4-23 The factions in Corinth were a symptom indicating that the importance of Christ was obscured. Conversion and Christian growth is attributable to the grace of God and not those he chooses as his ministers. To identify oneself according to a particular teacher represents a failure to understand that teachers of the faith are merely God’s instruments. Each one teaches in the name of Christ, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. (CCC 755-756, 2045)

Ch 3:6 Paul founded the Church in Corinth; Apollos came later to sustain it.

Ch 3:9-11 We become “God’s fellow workers” when we cooperate with his will. The Church is often referred to by the metaphor of an agricultural field, which is ready to grow crops and bear fruit, or a building, which must be carefully constructed on a solid foundation. (CCC 307, 755-756)

Ch 3:10-15 Paul compared the growth of the Church to the construction of a building, which must be built skillfully and with good materials. On Judgment Day, each person will be judged according to his or her good works and will be rewarded accordingly. Those who reject God’s grace by habitually failing to perform deeds of love inspired by faith bring judgment upon themselves. (CCC 679, 1041, 1059)

Ch 3:15 As through fire: Some whose works fall short of the requirements of the Gospel will still be saved but will undergo purification to become worthy of eternal life. Fire consumes flammable materials, but it also tests and refines metal so that it can be purified, reshaped, and perfected. The Church sees this verse as a reference to Purgatory in which the souls of those who died in God’s grace but have not reached the appropriate level of holiness will undergo a painful purification before entering Heaven. The Church’s teaching on Purgatory is based on Sacred Scripture and the immemorial tradition of both Jews and Christians of praying for the dead (cf. 2 Mc 12:39-45). (CCC 1030-1032, 1054, 1472, 1475)

Ch 3:16-17 God’s temple: In these verses, this signifies the body of any individual Christian due to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (CCC 797, 2355)

Ch 4:1-7 A steward is a caretaker who has been entrusted with responsibilities by his master. As stewards of the Gospel, Apostles and teachers of the Gospel should not be praised on their own account, as was the case in the personality cults in Corinth. Paul and Apollos did not create or encourage these divisions, which resulted from a lack of spiritual maturity among the Corinthians. Bishops are stewards of the Gospel and the Sacraments left to the Church by Christ. 

Mysteries of God: The truths God revealed by Christ contained in the Gospel message. Some tenets of the Christian Faith are considered mysteries since the light of human reason cannot grasp or understand them. (CCC 859, 1117, 1548)

Ch 4:5 At the Last Judgment, nothing will remain hidden; both good and sinful actions will be left for all to see. (CCC 678)

Ch 4:6 Learn by us...what is written: Paul cautioned against the faithful deriving their own interpretation of Scripture apart from the teaching of the Church. The preaching of the Apostles, found in the oral tradition, is reliable and complements and clarifies the written Word. (CCC 95, 126)

Ch 4:7 Because there is one God who created and sustains the universe, all that we are and all that we have-not only our possessions and surroundings but also our gifts and talents-were given to us by him. (CCC 224)

Ch 4:8-13 Sarcasm is used to make a parody of the pride and self-righteousness of some members of the faithful of Corinth.

Ch 4:14-21 Paul was a spiritual father to the faithful of Corinth, who through his ministry received new life in Christ. Later, Paul’s spiritual fatherhood was extended to Titus, Onesimus, and Timothy and a multitude of new Christians (cf. Ti 1:4; Phil 2:22; 1 Tm 1:2). The idea of spiritual fatherhood is retained in the Church today; the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught that priests are fathers and teachers of the faithful, and priests in many countries are traditionally addressed as “Father.” Some non-Catholics criticize the Catholic Church for this practice based on Matthew 23:9 (“call no man your father”). However, in light of 1 Corinthians 4:15 and many other references in the New Testament (e.g., Acts 3:13; 4:25; 7:2; Rom 4:16; 9:10; etc.), this view is a misinterpretation of Christ’s words and contrary to early Christian practices since the fatherhood of Christ’s ministers is a sharing in the fullness of God’s fatherhood. (CCC 8, 65, 1094)

Proverbs 27:24 With a view toward Heaven, Christ advised his followers not to store up earthly treasures (cf. Mt 6:19-21). Paul’s advice to Timothy is probably the inspiration for the popular cautionary wisdom, “You can’t take it with you” (cf. 1 Tm 6:7). (CCC 2053)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and thank you so much. Thank you for the gift of Grace and thank you not only for the gift of your Grace, but also for the gift of your messengers. Peter and Paul and Barnabas, who we hear of today, we just ask you to please help us to live like them. Help us to continuously say yes to you and whatever it is you want to do in our lives, whatever it is that you want to do in this world, Lord God, we say yes. And we ask you to please help us to say yes to you and your will and your plan and to say yes to love with everything we have. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”