“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Evangelization can be a tricky and sometimes loaded topic, but Jesus is pretty clear about it in today’s Gospel. I often find myself asking how do I best show my Christian values in the world and yet be sensitive to the needs of others who are also seeking God in their own ways. How does my work, social, or home life reflect my faith in Jesus? It’s a constant question.
One helpful way I’ve found to achieve this is finding work, volunteerism, or space within my vocation to be truly at the service of others. I am called, then, to forget my own selfish motivations and just be present to whomever I can serve. Even in seemingly non-service oriented moments or occupations, I have to ask, what greater good am I serving here? It might simply be to perform my role with as much grace, forgiveness, and kindness as possible.
—Emily Schumacher-Novak lives in Milwaukee, WI, and works in Jesuit Higher Education and Ignatian Spirituality.
Let nothing trouble you.
Let nothing scare you.
All is fleeting.
God alone is unchanging.
Patience everything obtains.
Who possesses God nothing wants.
God alone suffices.
—Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila