Second Chances ~ Br. Igor Kalinski, OPI (Translated from the Macedonian)

Acts 9:26-31 and John 3:18-24

Christ is Risen, my beloved brothers and sisters, He is truly Risen! Alleluia

Dear brothers and sisters of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ, in this fifth Sunday of Eastertide, the reading from the Apostle remind us of how good and big example is Barnabas in a very difficult situation at the moment of the event. This reminds me of one example of the Gospel, that we are all branches together of a big tree, if Barnabas is the finger of the hand, imagine how this finger have fixed such difficult situation, from the Apostle reading that as zealous Pharisee, Saul became a vehement opponent of Christianity, Saul had a life-changing encounter with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, The result is that he not only become a Christian but eventually Apostle Paul.

When you were a kid, who was the bully in your school or in your neighborhood? When have some friends helped you out of a bad situation? The disciples of Jerusalem fear and distrust Saul, Barnabas courage to step forward and speak up for Saul in the community.

I ask myself how I would feel if I was part of a church when the convert has a bad reputation and been a lot of gossip about the person, would I feel fear that is some kind of infiltration? Or i would rejoice in his claim to faith and welcome him with open arm and in the meanwhile, I will keep a close eye on him.

Barnabas is a model of a servant of God and his people, his example is so needed today in our churches, oratories, temples, shrines, communities, neighborhoods and families. Barnaba encouraging you, helping you to feel accepted. When last time has been encouraged someone? Whom have you served as a Barnabas, encouraging and helping people feel accepted in your parish or society, this example is useful in any situation. Many people face hardest to be accepted by families, schools, youth groups, parties, social gatherings, the opposite or same-sex other groups etc.

“Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into this world, but people preferred darkness to light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, o that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. After this, Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing. John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there, and people come to be baptized, for John had not yet been imprisoned.”

Some people live in darkness, and they can’t find the light, there is still lot of me that I want to hide in the darkness but I want to leave the darkness, but the light hurts my eyes, the more I want to follow the light the brighter it becomes, and I am completely open to Gods light and I am grateful for it.

To receive Christ’s promise of new life I need to stop being ridiculous, literal and rational, but to ask God to forgive me, for some things, to renew me, to forgive myself for some things, to open my heart for Jesus, to renew my vows before Him.

Christ is Risen, He is Truly Risen! Rejoice! Alleluia.

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