Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mars Hill and a man on a mission.

We read one of my favorite stories from Acts during the first reading of Mass today (Acts 17:15, 22—18:1). Paul travels to Areopagus (or Mars Hill) in Athens and begins to share his faith with the people there. While nothing can be more nerve-racking or frustrating as sharing our faith, all us baptized are called to it. Thankfully we’re not all called to door-to-door evangelizing, but we are all called to some sort of evangelization dependant on our situation. Daily if possible.

The reason I like this story is not because of the bravery or cleverness that Paul shows, but because of the outcome.

Paul was laughed at:

“When they heard about resurrection of the dead,some began to scoff”
He was blown off:

“… others said,’We should like to hear you on this some other time.’”
For one of the greatest evangelists of all time, the success was pretty modest.

“But some did join him, and became believers.Among them were Dionysius,a member of the Court of the Areopagus,a woman named Damaris, and others with them.”
Not once did he water-down the Gospel or turn "pastorial" on us and leave out the part about repentance. With respect and charity Paul shared the message with the people there, and left with peace to contiune on the mission that God gave him.

I wish I had that kind of patience, trust, and peace in knowing that even if I get laughed at and blown off, it is my mission to sow, God's to tend, and many times another's to reap. Whether reaping or sowing, we should find joy in knowing that we are doing God’s will.

A priest-friend has told me that when you plant a seed and get frustrated that it isn’t growing as fast oas you think it should, you’ve probably planted it for selfish reasons.

Ouch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Also, don't forget that the soil in our secular world is pretty tough to hoe most of the time, so we shouldn't be surprised that we don't always get a shoot.