HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE 10TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II, St. Barnabas, Apostle
THEME: Yes or No!
BY: Deacon Bill Frere
HOMILY FOR SATURDAY JUNE 11 2022
Gospel – Matthew 5: 33-37
Especially when we were little, we all had that experience of getting caught with our hands in the cookie jar or chocolate all over our face. The broken vase is on the floor and we are standing right there. The wall is covered with child-like drawings and the crayon is in our hand. Caught red-handed! And yet, when mom or dad asked “did you do this”, we quickly answered “Nope, not me!” Denial! Complete and utter denial, must have been the wind.
Why is it so hard to admit our sins? Why is it so easy to be dishonest? Even when the evidence is plain as day, we refuse to admit to our mistakes. Jesus keeps it simple and direct in today’s Gospel: let your yes mean yes and your no mean no. Be honest! Be honest with yourself and be honest with others! Consider all the time and effort it takes to lie – the elaborate stories we weave, the memorizing of the story to keep all the “facts” straight. Remember all the stories we concocted for getting home late and how proud we were of convincing our parents of the truthfulness of our story. What an effort, and all to avoid the truth, all to avoid responsibility.
We celebrate today the Feast of St. Barnabas. Literally his name means ‘son of consolation’ or ‘son of encouragement.’ Serving as a kind of mediator between the suspicious disciples and the former persecutor of the followers of Jesus, it was Barnabas who introduced Paul to Peter and the other Apostles. He is described in very simple terms – a good man filled with the Spirit and faith! He spoke the truth of the Gospel and challenged the early Church to be faithful to its message, even in the midst of controversy.
Too often we are great story-tellers. Jesus challenges us today to be like Barnabas, to be great truth-tellers! Let our YES mean YES and our NO mean NO!!!
Deacon Bill Frere