Saturday, May 11, 2013

Being an extrovert isn’t essential to EVANGELISM–obedience and love are

The "least of my brethren" are the hungry and the lonely, not only for food, but for the Word of God– Mother Teresa

(Scripture Text: ACTS 18:23-28)
After staying in Antioch some time,
Paul left and traveled in orderly sequence
through the Galatian country and Phrygia,
bringing strength to all the disciples.

A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria,
an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus.
He was an authority on the Scriptures.
He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord and,
with ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus,
although he knew only the baptism of John.
He began to speak boldly in the synagogue;
but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him,
they took him aside
and explained to him the Way of God more accurately.
And when he wanted to cross to Achaia,
the brothers encouraged him
and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him.
After his arrival he gave great assistance
to those who had come to believe through grace.
He vigorously refuted the Jews in public,
establishing from the Scriptures that the Christ is Jesus.

A young man who had recently been baptized into the Catholic faith was asked by his mother, “Why did you join the Church?” The young man responded, “Because I believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead to give us eternal life!” Taken aback by her son’s conviction and confidence, she realized that something more than just another religious “phase” was going on. Something real had happened, and she wanted to learn more about it.

Looking at today’s reading, we can imagine that Apollos’ friends were just as intrigued. We don’t know for sure how they reacted, but we do know that Priscilla and Aquila were impressed enough to coach Apollos and make him an even more effective evangelist. Although he didn’t have all the fine points down, Apollos had the right attitude. He wanted to get the gospel out, and that was what mattered most.

We can learn a lot from Apollos. Even though he wasn’t fully trained, he had the courage and determination to introduce other people to Jesus and the Church. It’s true that a lot of other things go into evangelization: not just the words we say but the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the witness of our lives. However, as Pope Paul VI said, even the most authentic witness is not effective without “a clear and unequivocal proclamation of the Lord Jesus.” At some point, we need to tell people what and who it is that we’re excited about!

Many of us are already good witnesses. We’re trying to grow in virtue, raise our families, and be of service to others. Others can see that, too. But they also need to know who is behind it all. Are you ready to tell them? Like Apollos, you don’t have to have the perfect package. You just have to find a way to share about the most important person in your life—Jesus. So pray for the right words and the right moment. And when it comes, don’t be afraid. Christ is with you, and he’s giving you this opportunity to be his messenger of grace and peace.

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