Every now and then, you may experience days when a friend comes along, sees you, and asks, “What’s wrong?” You might say, depending on what is bothering you, “I had a disagreement with someone,” or “I am not feeling well,” or “My stomach is acting up.” You know that the question “What’s wrong?” could be a gesture of concern.
However, those who ask that question should also understand that the answers it elicits—having a stomachache, having had a disagreement with someone, or not feeling well—do not necessarily make the day wrong.
Come to think of it, was there ever a day in the entire history of mankind when everything was perfect? When nobody had a stomachache? When nobody felt unwell? There was not one moment in human history that was a perfect day. Sometimes we think that the perfect days were the good old days, the days of the early Church, the days when we were young, the days when the Church was younger. We say those were the good old days.
But our feast for today proves to us that the good old days were not really that good. Why? For example, Barnabas, whose feast we celebrate today, and Paul were companions. They disagreed on a certain matter. What was it? Barnabas and Paul were traveling together with Mark, and then Mark made a mistake and abandoned them. Later, Mark realized his mistake and wanted to return and accompany the two. Paul said, “No way.” Barnabas, Mark’s uncle, said, “Let us bring him with us.” And Paul said, “If you bring him with you, I will go away.” Then Barnabas said, “If you go away, I will go my way.” Here were two apostles who disagreed on a seemingly petty matter—deciding on the company of Mark—and yet, did that make the early Church imperfect? Did that make the early Church bad? No, because after their disagreement, Barnabas and Paul parted ways. This action resulted in the establishment of more churches. Good days, bad days, we will always have. As a poet says, “Into each life some rain must fall.” What is important is not whether the sun is shining or not. What is important is not that you are healthy or sick. What is important is that, in sickness and in health, in life and in death, it is the Lord who accompanies us.
Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3
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