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Thursday, May 10, 2018

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St. Damien of Moloka'i

Acts 18:1-8
Psalm 98:1-4
John 16:16-20

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talking in church

"Every sabbath, in the synagogue, Paul led discussions in which he persuaded certain Jews and Greeks." —Acts 18:4

It's not unusual to see people talking in church in the USA. People greet one another before or after Mass. They talk about their children, politics, sports, the obituaries, school, the weather, etc. Some even discuss church-related things, such as parish politics or issues about the parish school. How many people in church talk about Jesus?

Every week, St. Paul talked in church about Jesus. He attempted to persuade anyone who would listen that Jesus is "the Messiah" (Acts 18:5). Paul determined that he "would speak of nothing but Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 2:2). When he talked about Jesus, Paul had mixed results. Some "sneered, while others said. 'We must hear you on this topic some other time' " (Acts 17:32). Some people "opposed him and insulted him" (Acts 18:6). Others "did join him, however, to become believers" (Acts 17:34). "Many of the Corinthians, too, who heard Paul believed and were baptized" (Acts 18:8).

We have only "a short time" in this lifetime to tell people about Jesus (see Jn 16:17; 1 Cor 7:29). "The Lord has made His salvation known" (Ps 98:2) by raising us up as His witnesses (Acts 2:32). We are ambassadors for Christ to the world (2 Cor 5:20). "Avoid worldly, idle talk, for those who indulge in it become more and more godless" (2 Tm 2:16). Offer your tongue, your heart, and your speech to the Lord "as weapons for justice" (see Rm 6:13). Tell your church and your world about Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, as the Pentecost Novena approaches, send the Holy Spirit to teach me "what to say and how to speak" (Jn 12:49).

Promise:  "A leading man of the synagogue, Crispus, along with his whole household, put his faith in the Lord. Many of the Corinthians, too, who heard Paul believed and were baptized." —Acts 18:8

Praise:  St. Damien spent the last years of his life as a leper, just like those he served in Moloka'i, Hawaii.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2017

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