Have you ever sat around the kitchen or family room table with siblings or friends and gone through a photo album or film clips of your childhood. What wonderful and found memories are rekindled as we talk and recall the events and people we see.

For me, the Easter season’s first readings from the Acts of the Apostles give us the same chance to marvel and remember the early childhood of the Church. We are just past Pentecost and back to ordinary time, but today we go back to the story of the early Church because it is the memorial of St. Barnabas.

The Church in Jerusalem had sent Barnabas to Antioch because they were concerned that Greeks were being evangelized. Barnabas immediately saw the grace of God at work and affirmed the evangelization of the Gentiles.

This is the same message of inclusion and openness to God’s grace in our lives which I hear Pope Francis share with us these days.

As Ignatius said to Francis Xavier, “go forth and set the world on fire!”

—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.