Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you, if you put it into practice.
I am not speaking of you all, because I know the ones I have chosen, and the Scripture has to be fulfilled which says: The one who shares my table will rise up against me. I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may know that I am He.
Truly, I say to you, whoever welcomes the one I send, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes the One who sent me.”
We see in a few verses preceding today’s first reading that a young man named John “who is called Mark” and whose mother resided in Jerusalem, was associated with Barnabas and Paul at one point (Acts 12:12, 25). Now we learn from Col 4:10 that Mark was a cousin of Barnabas, which explains why the latter is keen on bringing him along on Paul’s and Barnabas’ First Missionary Journey (Acts 13:5). However, as we are told in today’s first reading, young Mark got homesick in mid-trip and returned to his Mom in Jerusalem. End of Act I.
Act II begins with Barnabas wanting to take along Mark on their Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16:36-39), but Paul refused, and he and Barnabas henceforth parted ways, Barnabas working with his young cousin. End of Act II.
In Act III, we see a more mature Mark having reconciled with Paul and, in fact, having become one of Paul’s “co-workers” (Plm 24) and “helpful in the ministry” (2 Tim 4:11).
In conclusion, Barnabas saw in Mark a potential that Paul could not see. He believed that his young and immature cousin could grow up into a fine apostle. Barnabas was right. With a bit of trust in them, some young people can develop beautifully.
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