Thursday of the 2nd Week of Eastertide
“When they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death”
It seems like ‘cancel culture’ was a thing even back in the days of the Apostles!!
Yesterday, we talked about my difficulty with finding the right words to say to a close friend who is liberal leaning and possibly, falling away from the faith. I’ve been a writing member of this blog for a long time now and yet, when she confronted me about possibly not going back to Church, I was at a loss as to what to say. I could hear the Scripture verses in my head, but I couldn’t verbalize them into words that would not cause her to ‘cancel me’ or damage my relationship with her. This isn’t the first time it has happened. When it comes to evangelizing to those who are not already a ‘captive audience’ (i.e. resolutely Catholic), I am at a loss. It is painful and honestly, a disgrace after all my years of studying the Word. I stop up, gulp, fall silent and later, kick myself for missing an opportunity to tell people about my faith. My son once gently criticized me, and rightly so, “I think you’re not giving your faith enough credit, because it obviously carried you through a lot of personal trauma. Why don’t you speak about it more?”. Why indeed?!
In today’s gospel, we read that “He (God) does not ration his gift of the Spirit” (John 3:34). So why does my tongue seize up whenever I am presented with an opportunity to evangelize? I’ve given this some thought and have come to the conclusion that it might be because I care too much who I’m speaking to and whose feelings I offend. I care about not being confrontational. I don’t want to damage relationships. It’s pretty disappointing if you’re God. After all the miracles He has worked in my life, and all the gifts He has given me, this is my paltry response?
When Peter says, “We must obey God rather than men”, gone is the terrified Jewish fisherman who denied Jesus three times before embracing his vocation. It’s encouraging to me that the rock on which Jesus decided to build the Church, was also fearful of being ostracized and ‘canceled’ at the beginning. Perhaps there is hope for me yet? It may only be a few lines in Scripture, a few short pages before Peter goes from a man shaking in fear to the Super Apostle taking on the Sanhedrin. It will take me a great deal more time to have the courage to face up to my liberal-leaning friends and family, but maybe there is hope for me still…I just have to dig deep and find the courage.
“We must obey God rather than men… We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:29-32)
(Today’s OXYGEN by Sharon Soo)
Prayer: We pray for the courage and the words at crunch time, when we are called to speak about our faith.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the Holy Spirit, who inspires, who teaches, who imparts wisdom and who looks on our faith and not our flaws.