Debates and Arguments

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St. Paul was a very persuasive guy. Time and again he persuaded people about Jesus being the Christ of God. They weren’t persuaded by St. Paul, but in today’s Gospel reading from John 16 we hear the Apostles saying to Jesus, “We believe that you came from God.”

Today we see Paul in Ephesus, in the synagogue. Acts 19:8 says, “For three months [Paul] debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.” Debates and arguments. Those two things often have a negative connotation for us, and most folks avoid them assiduously.

What if instead of calling something “debating,” I referred to it as “standing up for what you believe.” Would you be willing to do that? And instead of “arguments,” you had “conversations.” Would that make a difference? The way we view things is important. Who knows? Perhaps “debates” and “arguments” can actually be something different, when respectfulness and understanding are thrown in. Maybe they can even be fruitful. They were for St. Paul.

Father, help us to always be willing to share our faith, and to see it as a positive thing. May our faith sharing always bear fruit, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Today’s Readings

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