We should be ready to explain our beliefs.


Sunday, 7/27/14

Today’s readings urge us to gain a full understanding of our faith.

The first reading tells a story about Solomon. In what sounded like a fairytale, God granted him one wish. It could be for riches, power, fame, or whatever, but Solomon asked only for understanding. Pleased with that, God gave Solomon wisdom as well.

In the Gospel Jesus said, “Every scribe instructed in the kingdom is like the head of a household who brings forth from his storeroom both the new and the old.” There, Jesus advises us to be widely read in things of the past and things of the present. We then would have the right answers in any situation that arises.

Let me tell you my experience with being ready to explain my beliefs. Forty-two years ago I came to Jacksonville to teach high school Literature, but instead I was put teaching the freshman Religion course. The school supplied me with a textbook that was childish and out of date, so I complained about it to the priests in charge of the school.

 He came back at me with the question: “Well, just can you teach them?”

That question became a challenge to me. In his First Letter St. Peter repeated that challenge, saying, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.

So when I got a parish that needed me to teach middle school Religion classes, I went on to read enough of the Bible and History to equip myself for speaking about our faith.

Beefing up on your beliefs would be rewarding for you too.  You could be that wise scribe with a storeroom from which you could readily bring forth the right old things and new.

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