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Tuesday, April 23, 2002

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St. George
St. Adalbert

Acts 11:19-26
Psalm 87
John 10:22-30

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faith is spelled r-i-s-k

"News of this eventually reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, resulting in Barnabas' being sent to Antioch." —Acts 11:22

Barnabas "was a good man filled with the Holy Spirit and faith" (Acts 11:24). The Lord called him to live his faith in high-risk situations.

We first hear of Barnabas (at that time named Joseph) selling his farm and laying the proceeds at the apostles' feet (Acts 4:36-37). If you did such a thing, would you be taking a risk? What if the church did not provide for you? What if you lost everything?

Barnabas' next great act of faith was his courage in accepting the newly converted Saul, a former killer of Christians. Barnabas was the only disciple in Jerusalem not afraid of Saul (Acts 9:26). Many thought it likely that Saul's conversion was only a ploy to kill more Christians (see Acts 9:26). Yet Barnabas by faith took the risk.

Next, we hear of Barnabas being chosen by the church of Jerusalem to discern the authenticity of Gentiles in Antioch being converted to the Lord. Barnabas "rejoiced to see the evidence of God's favor. He encouraged them all to remain firm in their commitment to the Lord" (Acts 11:23). This was an extremely controversial discernment, and Barnabas would later be severely persecuted for this discernment (see Acts 13:46, 50).

Barnabas later led the first Christian missionary journey (Acts 13:2ff). He could have easily been killed. He was risking his life again and walking by faith.

Are you a man or woman of faith? Are you risking accordingly?

Prayer:  Father, make me free, fearless, unmanipulated, and unintimidated.

Promise:  "My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish." —Jn 10:27-28

Praise:  St. George, a martyr for Christ, is the patron of England, Portugal, Germany, and also patron of soldiers.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, November 15, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 16, 2001