“An argument in apologetics, when actually used in dialogue, is an extension of the arguer. The arguer's tone, sincerity, care, concern, listening, and respect matter as much as his or her logic - probably more. The world was won for Christ not by arguments but by sanctity: "What you are speaks so loud, I can hardly hear what you say.” - Peter Kreeft: Professor of Philosophy at Boston College and author of “Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics”
Gospel Text: (MK 4:21-25)
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed,
and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible;
nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”
He also told them, “Take care what you hear.
The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you,
and still more will be given to you.
To the one who has, more will be given;
from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
When Jesus in today’s Gospel passage notes that a lamp is meant to be “placed on a lampstand”, He does not specifically refer to His disciples here as “the light of the world”, as He does in Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount. Nonetheless, Mark’s text makes the inference clear. Disciples are not meant to hide themselves, their belief, or Christ from others in the world. On the contrary, they are called to share the Good News! This clearly stands in conflict with a culture dominated by moral and religious relativism.
«Listen then, if you have ears!». And He also said to them, «Pay attention to what you hear» (Mk 4:23-24). But, what does it mean “to hear”?; what are we to hear? This is the great question we have to ask ourselves.
Listening is an attitude of sincerity towards God that demands to know what we really want to do. And to find it out we must hear: we must pay attention to the hints of God every day in our lives. We have to enter into a dialogue with him to put an end to our “mathematics of measure”.
When Jesus in today’s Gospel passage notes that to “the one who has, more will be given” and “from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away”, some might accuse Jesus of sounding like Wall Street tycoons. Jesus just doesn’t sound fair. But what God gives, He gives for others: if He gives me a grace or charism, it is for others.
Only in being faithful to serving others with what we have may we hope someday to reach Heaven.