Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Matins lessons for St. Barnabas

A future publication is planned of the Matins lessons (readings) for the Sarum Use of the Roman rite. The following is a draft of this legendary* future publication's entry for June 11, St. Barnabas the apostle (his feast is tomorrow, Thursday, June 11, which on the civil calendar is June 24). It is put from Latin into English by Hieromonk Aidan (Keller) of Austin, Texas.


above: 20th c. Greek icon of St. Barnabas

HOLY APOSTLE BARNABAS (JUNE 11)
Lesson 1: Blessed Barnabas, a Cypriot by nationality, received the grace of the Holy Spirit at nearly the same time as the Holy Church, namely, the third year after the Ascension of our Lord, and was chosen together with the apostle Paul (just as Joseph was) for the loftiness of the apostleship and for preaching to the Gentiles. The evangelist Luke brilliantly declareth in the Acts of the Apostles in what manner and how perfectly he toiled in the ministry that had been assigned him by God. But Thou...

Lesson 2: But it was John, whose surname is Mark, disciple of the same Barnabas, who revealed in a faithful account the way in which he came to a crown of glory by the palm of martyrdom. For that same Luke (cleaving always to the blessed apostle Paul in his preaching), was not able to behold the end of St. Barnabas. When, therefore, Barnabas was at Iconium with the blessed apostle Paul, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him in a vision, saying, “Be valiant, Barnabas, believing right faithfully, for thou shalt receive eternal rewards for the holy piety because of which thou hast left behind thee a generation of children, for My name’s sake. But Thou...

Lesson 3: And when he had passed from Iconium to Antioch, the vision of an angel was made to the blest apostle Paul by night, saying, “Swiftly set out for Jerusalem, and make no delay, for the brethren await thy coming eagerly.” When he shared this with blessed Barnabas, blessed Barnabas said, “Inasmuch as it is not expedient to contradict the will of God, let the Lord’s will be done. Only intercede for me with the Lord, I beseech thee, that my struggle may be acceptable in His sight. For I set out for Cyprus now, and after a short while I shall finish the end of my life. The saddest thing is that I am not to see thy face any longer, not in bodily wise.” But Thou...

Lesson 4: Then Barnabas fell down at Paul’s feet, and for a long time he wept bitterly. Paul, having compassion for his sorrow, said, “Do not grieve, brother, for this is not being done without a divine mystery. For this [past] night the Lord appeared to me, saying, “Do not forbid Barnabas to go to Cyprus, for the grace of God is prepared for him to give enlightenment to many, and to achieve a most-holy martyrdom. But thou, travel to Jerusalem, to visit the holy places.” Then they bade one another farewell, praying on their knees, and giving kisses one to the other. And Barnabas, boarding a ship, alighted at Laodicea, resolving to make his way to Cyprus. But Thou...

Lesson 5: And when Barnabas had arrived on Cyprus, he found there Timon and Aristion, servants of the Lord. But Timon was burning with a fever. When blessed Barnabas had laid his hands and the most-holy Gospel upon him, straightway the fever was put to flight by the invocation of our Lord and Saviour. And thenceforward the sick man was made strong, so that he followed the apostle immediately with joy. Now, by the teaching of the apostles, the blessed Barnabas carried with him the Gospel of holy Matthew, and wheresoever he found men sick, he laid it upon them, and they were healed immediately from what disease soever had held them. Having therefore visited his parents and having strengthened them in the faith, blessed Barnabas departed from Cyprus, to pass from thence to Paphos. But Thou...

Lesson 6: When therefore the blessed Barnabas had passed to Paphos from Cyprus, he met up on the way with an impious and maleficent Jew by the name of Bar-Jeu, whom the blessed Paul had previously deprived of sight, since he resisted faith, not permanently but for a time, saying, “Thou shalt be blind until the time.” In his case, it definitely came to pass that at the prayer of the proconsul Sergius (converted by blessed apostle Paul), he received his sight. But apostasising afterwards just like that man Simon Magus, he became a transgressor. When, then, he had recognised blessed Barnabas, moved by malice he forbade him to enter Paphos. Because of this, the apostle, turning back, entered Salamina. But Thou...

Lesson 7: In Salamina the apostle found a synagogue of Jews, and having entered it he began to exhort them to faith, and to introduce the grace of Christ, using the Gospel of holy Matthew. When the aforementioned Bar-Jeu had learned that many of the Jews accepted the preaching of the holy apostle, showing all the malice of his iniquity, having made a sedition against the holy apostle, he had him arrested. And they sought to deliver him to the consul of that same city of Salamina, afflicting him with many punishments and various torments. Now, being exceeding fearful that he would escape from their hands, they dragged him at night, tying a rope around his neck, from the synagogue to the hippodrome, and then outside the gate. But Thou...

Lesson 8: After these things, surrounding him they cruelly burned him with fire. And so the blessed apostle, after many contests and lengthy battles, passed to everlasting joys, being burnt for the name of Christ. But impious Jews, not satisfied with his murder, stirred up with zeal, carried out his very most holy body. And shutting it up in a lead casket, they decided to cast it into the sea. Meanwhile the aforesaid John, his disciple (as also Mark), together with other of the faithful, bore it away secretly by night, and placed it in the crypt which of old had been the dwelling of the Jebusites, on the third of the ides of June, that is, the eleventh day of that month. But Thou...

Lesson 9: Because of this secret placement, therefore, the venerable body lay hidden for the passage of many years, and could not be found by the Christians. But by the grace of God almighty, Who doth not suffer the glory of His Saints to be hid, in the days of emperor Zeno and holy pope Gelasius, by a revelation of that same holy apostle, it was found. And with hymns and praises it was laid to rest in an impressive manner. Therefore, my dearly beloved brethren, let us who are in admiration of the life and devotion of this holy and glorious apostle and martyr Barnabas, and who follow in his footsteps, rejoice with spiritual joy on this festival of his, so that by his intercession we may be found amongst the righteous at the Lord’s judgment, being freed from defilements of sin, and may we be found worthy to partake of eternal life with him. Our Lord Jesus Christ granting it, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, God through all the ages of ages. Amen. But Thou...

(c) 2010 St. John Cassian Press

* in the sense of "heard of, but possibly the stuff of mere myth and legend." The pun proved irresistible (the proper Latin name of the book is the "Legenda").

No comments: