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Son of Encouragement, Pray for Us


Today’s reflection is in honor of Sts Bartholomew and Barnabas, so today is my name day in our Faith.

The Name Day is as important (if not more important) than one’s actual birthday, and it is celebrated as such in traditional Orthodox countries.

But today, I want to especially wish our Ecumenical Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew, a blessed name day and many years of health and service to our Church.

I also want to encourage you to know more about these great heroes of our Christian faith that made it possible through their faithfulness to preserve our holy faith so we can practice it today. Their example and spiritual trail blazing leaves a legacy for us that both inspires and exhorts us to the same faithfulness.

This is why any theology that is impoverished with the silly notion that our brothers and sisters who have gone before us are somehow “gone” or no longer as vibrantly a part of our Church as when they were “alive” seems to almost approach the faithless notion that our Lord Jesus didn’t defeat death! After all, what can separate us from the love of God? And didn’t St. Paul say that all believers are “in Christ?” And if we are truly “in Christ” as brothers and sisters, can we really ever be separated from one another?

No, my dearest, our Faith isn’t a faith where our bonds of love and concern and prayers are so easily severed by something as powerless as death. Our brothers and sisters pray for us still and we Christians don’t let a defeated enemy like death stand in the way of our eternal communion in Christ! Jesus Christ isn’t dead and that means NO ONE connected to Him is dead either!

So, today, wake up to the reality of how you are surrounded with such a great cloud of witnesses all cheering you on today to run your Christian race with purpose and to finish that race well! You’ve got friends in high places today. Don’t neglect such a source of encouragement and strength!

Hymn in honor of St. Barnabas:

To your Lord, O Barnabas, you were a genuine servant;
and among the Seventy Apostles, you were the foremost;
and with Paul, you shone brightly in your wise preaching
making known unto all men Christ Jesus, the Savior.
For this cause, we celebrate your divine memorial with hymns and spiritual songs.

Holy St. Barnabas, pray for me!

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