Reflections On The Journey
|Posted on February 6, 2023 at 9:20 AM|
Monday Meditation – Be Bold - 2/6/2023
Do you act boldly and with courage regarding your faith?
As an inherent introvert, I tend to not speak up about things unless I am sure I know the answer. It always seemed to take me awhile to get comfortable with something, but once I am comfortable, I have no problem speaking up.
When it comes to my faith, though, sometimes I am hesitant to speak up for what I believe. Perhaps it’s that introverted nature of mine, but so often I pass up opportunities to express my beliefs more out of fear of negative reactions of others.
I have been reading the Book of the Acts of the Apostles recently, and Chapters 4 and 5 talk about how bold the disciples were regarding proclaiming Jesus to the people around them. They spoke up freely, teaching anyone who would listen to them. They gladly accepted being thrown into jail for what they taught, and even rejoiced – “The apostles for their part left the Sanhedrin full of joy that they had been judged worthy of ill treatment for the sake of the Name.” (Acts 5:41)
When I read those verses I had to pause. I am a Christian, and so I am also a disciple of Jesus. All disciples are called to proclaim Jesus to others. But how well do I do that?
In church I’m fine. It’s a safe environment and the people there are all Christians too. So there I have no problem sharing my story and my beliefs with others.
And within this blog it is also easy for me to share my faith. I don’t have to face anyone directly, and chances are, people who disagree with me don’t even read my blog! I’m probably talking to a very receptive audience.
But out in the world? When I look at those who go out and boldly share their faith with the homeless, prisoners, or other groups who may react hostilely, I shrink back. I seem to lack the boldness necessary to speak in these situations.
The passages from the Acts that I was reading follow sequentially on the heels of Pentecost – that fiery event when the Holy Spirit came down on those in the Upper Room. The people in that room were emboldened by the Spirit – all of a sudden they had the courage to proclaim their faith to others.
Now I was confirmed as a young girl, and in Confirmation I supposedly received the Holy Spirit. So, I wonder why I don’t feel that bold like the Apostles?
Then I remember that the Holy Spirit gives all kinds of Gifts to us. And we don’t all get the same gifts. Not everyone is called to be preachers or doctors or teachers. Not all of us are gifted with the ability to sing or write. But all of us ARE called to proclaim God, using our specific gifts that are unique to us. Some people are given the wherewithal to proclaim God publicly. Others are given gifts to proclaim God through their actions. There are many kinds of gifts that help us to proclaim Jesus.
Do you recall that famous aphorism traditionally ascribed to St. Francis of Assisi? They say he said: “Always preach the Gospel…. by words if necessary.” With my gifts I can proclaim God in many ways, not just in speech! I boldly proclaim what Jesus and the Apostles demonstrated in the Gospel by my acts of kindness toward others. In writing my blog, poetry and prose, I proclaim my faith to my readers. I proclaim God in song, as I lead liturgies and offer sung comfort at funeral masses. I may not be called to proclaim God in the same way as the Apostles, but I can boldly proclaim Him using the gifts that I do have.
What gifts do you have that you can boldly use to share your faith with others? Take a few moments this week to think about what you can do, and then do it! Be bold this week and proclaim to others the gifts you have received – because in doing so you will bless others with your gifts.
Have a blessed Monday!
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