Plotlines of biblical narratives with unfamiliar names of people and places interrupt the sequential flow of the storyline for the many readers looking for the gem that shines through the peopled landscape.
Such is the story of Paul’s journey from Athens to Corinth, where he meets and interacts with a variety of people and even connects with a fellow tentmaker. In this story’s staccato plot of meeting people and preaching, he met opposition, and his temper flared, fueled by his passionate stance that Jesus was the Christ! Now we get to the heart of this story.
We have been up against some trying times with people who denounce, reject, and scoff at our faith. Moreover, apologetics is not always in our purview to adequately defend the faith. Paul, however, preaches and exhorts with conviction. Nevertheless, our words and actions are enough to signal where we stand. Tempers may flair like Paul’s when confronted with adversity, but for the most part, everyone we meet will know we are Christians by our love toward them and life itself.
Trials of faith are certain. Rejection and suffering come in many sized packages, and Jesus knew his apostles would weep and morn at his departure while the world rejoiced that his presence would no longer be viable – or so they say. In any event, embrace the setbacks along with the joys, for in Jesus, our grief will become our joy.
As paradoxical as this sounds, we can unravel this enigma by living our faith day to day. The biblical conundrums of feeding five thousand, calming a storm, changing water into wine, the resurrection, and many more, we answer not with words but with our faith.
“In vain, a net is spread right under the eyes of any bird —” May we, Dear Lord, always see the nets. (From Proverbs 1:17)
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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