As someone who talks for a living, I have the utmost admiration for St. Paul. More on that in a moment. In the Gospel reading today from John 16, Jesus once again warns His disciples that life would not be a bed of roses. “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” Jesus has already won the battle!
I always envision St. Paul as a fiery and convincing speaker. He was bold and unafraid to speak the truth. I suspect he could have even been a bit combative or cantankerous at times. In today’s first reading from Acts 19, we see in Ephesus that he “for three months debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.” Those words – debate and argument – often have a negative, adversarial tone. Perhaps they shouldn’t.
Have you ever debated or gotten into an argument about faith? Sometimes even innocent conversations can devolve into that. I believe it is of the utmost importance that we know and talk about our faith. But it needn’t be adversarial. Simply sharing our faith, sharing our story, can be a very persuasive argument for God.
Father, give us the grace to open our mouths to share your grace with everyone we meet. Amen.