Live Your Identity

Have you examined your fingerprints lately? Maybe not; you might even think they’re invisible or inconspicuous. But in this life, whatever we touch gets a hold of our fingerprints on it. And our fingerprints are unique to ONLY us. Thus we can say it tells the identity of the person. In our first reading, we’re told that the early Church were called Christians (Christ-like) in Antioch. This means that they must have acted like Christ; their ‘fingerprints’ (or the impact of their life and work) was identical to that of Christ.

When news reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem that the gospel is doing well in Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, they sent Barnabas there. This is because Barnabas lived out the identity of his name. Barnabas means ‘son of consolation, encouragement and exhortation’. He exhorted the people and encouraged them to be steadfast.

Barnabas went to the extent of going to Tarsus to bring Saul. This, for me, is very moving. Like Barnabas, we need to bring others to the limelight and help them to develop. Sometimes we are afraid they will outshine us, so instead of bringing them to the light we even bury them so that they’re not able to shine or bear fruit. This act of burying is not a show of smartness, but a demonstration of insecurity.

Sometimes, the people who come under our tutelage have good, genuine intentions to do something. However, their initiative or approach can turn out to be unproductive or even fail. Let’s seek to encourage such people to keep trying; let’s not kill their initiative or crumble their courage. Their contribution may be for the common good or sometimes to our own benefit and enjoyment. We all know the story of Paul and his impact on the Church.

In our gospel, Jesus gives us an amazing image of God when He says, “The Father is greater than all.” Indeed, God is the greatest. If you believe this, whatever challenge or situation you find yourself in will not be able to drown you; not even Corona virus. You will not fear any evil even if you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, for God will shield you.
(Acts 11:9-26; Ps. 87; Jn. 10:22-30)


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