In our first reading, St. Paul is in Athens. He comes across a shrine dedicated “to an Unknown God.” Paul knows this “God.” His name is Jesus. So Paul gives witness…
Paul’s eloquent speech in the Areopagus is compelling in both its simplicity and universality. Paul describes a God who created our world; a God who is the source and sustenance of life; a God who is deeply involved in creation and a God who can be known through personal repentance. Paul’s ultimate proof to validate the existence of this God is Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead.
The best preachers have always used the same universal elements to bring believers to deeper faith. At times, they’d experience the polite shrug or the disinterested nod as did Paul. But at other times, preachers will bind people eager for more. However at all times, faith in Jesus needs witnesses. They must be witnesses willing to share what they have come to know and value in a relationship with Jesus Christ. That is Paul’s legacy to the Body of Christ. And that remains our task as members of the same Body of Christ.
In our Gospel, Jesus tells of the “Spirit of truth” who will guide his disciples. This Holy Spirit will continue Jesus’ work through each generation of believers. We are those believers today.
What will that mean for you today? What do you value in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you value it enough to share it in how you relate to family, students, colleagues or friends today? How you respond will write another chapter in the narrative of salvation in which you can play a part.
Come Holy Spirit, come Spirit of truth, remain in me during this day. Show me how to follow the example of the Risen Christ in the manner of my life today. Then your gift of this day can be my gift to you who are Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
—Fr. Thomas Powers ’73 U’19