thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Readings may be found here
St. Paul had gumption. He went right to the cultural heart of the Greek world and announced to the brightest and best that they had missed the truth of God. His message here differs significantly from other instances of his preaching in Acts. In those other settings, speaking to Jews and to new Christians, Paul focused on the Lord Jesus and the Holy Scriptures. Here in Athens, Paul speaks in philosophical arguments so familiar to the Greek schools. He speaks “their language.” He draws on their own tradition to point out the absurdity of worshipping idols made with human hands while ignoring the Creator of all. While the response was mixed, Paul’s conviction and his argument hit home for some and the door was opened for Paul to go further and introduce them to the Christ.
In the gospel passage today, Jesus speaks about the gift of the Spirit and the role of the Spirit in teaching the disciple and empowering him or her to speak the truth of the Lord. There is the foundation for the whole ministry of Paul and his creative, courageous visit to the Areopagus.
I love the word “gumption,” defined as “shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness.” (Lexico.com) “Spirited” indeed! What was true for Paul is true for every one of us empowered by the Spirit. So where’s your gumption?