Description: When we fail at convincing someone to go to church or to trust in Jesus, have we allowed ourselves to get swept into a debate? St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 to rely instead on “the convincing power of the Spirit”. Debates don’t inspire conversion. They make people get defensive, because they feel pressured into changing their point of view. Defensiveness closes the ears of their hearts, and then they cannot listen with understanding.
Only the Holy Spirit grants understanding — it’s a gift — and the Spirit works not in debates and arguments, but in love and compassion. In Luke 4:16-30, Jesus begins the synagogue lesson — and his public ministry — with: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” It was the Holy Spirit who anointed Jesus and sent him into the world to preach. Likewise, it’s the Holy Spirit who anoints you and me and sends us into the world to bring others to Christ. And it’s the Holy Spirit who changes the hearts of those we evangelize.
Ideas for use: Evangelization ministry, parish staff, spouses of unbelievers, parents of inactive Catholics, RCIA team and sponsors, etc.