“ ‘Brothers, if you have any exhortation to address to the people, please speak up.’ So Paul arose, motioned to them for silence, and began.” —Acts 13:15-16
Imagine visiting a church. You’re a total stranger. After the reading of the Scriptures, everyone sits down. Suddenly the priest or minister looks at you and asks if you would give the sermon. What would you do?
This happened to St. Paul when he visited the synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia. When Paul was put on the spot, he was ready. He even gave the assembly a tour through the history of the chosen people (Acts 13:16ff). Later, Paul was ready to witness to the jailer during a jailbreak (Acts 16:29ff). He witnessed about Jesus even after he suffered shipwreck and was bitten by a snake (Acts 27:43—28:4ff). Even Peter, who froze when a servant girl asked him about Jesus, changed dramatically and later could write: “Should anyone ask you the reason for this hope of yours, be ever ready to reply” (1 Pt 3:15).
When we make the act of faith and open our mouths, the Spirit puts courage in our hearts, revelations into our minds, and words on our lips. Jesus promised: “When they hand you over, do not worry about what you will say or how you will say it. When the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. You yourselves will not be the speakers; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you” (Mt 10:19-20).
Prayer: Jesus, in the next forty-eight hours, may I break new ground and talk about You to a person I never could before.
Promise: “I solemnly assure you, no slave is greater than his master.” —Jn 13:16
Praise: In Catherine’s short life of 33 years, she made clear her deep devotion to Christ. In 1970, Pope St. Paul VI named her a Doctor of the Church. Three priests were assigned to keep up with those she led to repent.
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