Jesus began working in His hometown Nazareth by moving in the power of the Holy Spirit, reading the Bible, and proclaiming the good news to the poor (Lk 4:18). Jesus prophetically and fearlessly challenged His hometown folk (Lk 4:24), although this filled them with indignation and even endangered His life (Lk 4:28-30).
If you're working for the Lord anywhere, especially in your hometown, see if you're doing it Jesus' way. For example, when St. Paul began His work in Corinth, "it was in weakness and fear, and with much trepidation" (1 Cor 2:3). Can you relate to this? Following the example of Jesus, Paul chose to move in the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather than trying to hide his fears behind a facade of "macho-ministry," Paul spoke to the Corinthians with no particular eloquence, no persuasive force, and no "wise" argumentation (see 1 Cor 2:4). He relied only on "the convincing power of the Spirit" (1 Cor 2:4) and determined to "speak of nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Cor 2:2). To help Paul overcome his fears, "one night in a vision the Lord said to Paul: 'Do not be afraid. Go on speaking and do not be silenced, for I am with you' " (Acts 18:9-10). Paul's work followed the pattern of Jesus' ministry.
Jesus, Paul, and you have had tough jobs. Don't make it tougher. Do your work Jesus' way. Do it in the power of the Spirit. Don't give in to fear. Proclaim the good news of the crucified and risen Jesus to all nations, especially to the poor. Work for, with, and in Jesus.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2008 through September 30, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008.