Telling our friends

Beloved in Christ, today in the first reading we find that St. Paul goes to the Areopagus. This is a place in Athens where trials used to be conducted by the Greeks, and it is not far from the Acropolis, full of idols to various Gods. Paul sees there that they had an idol to ‘the unknown god;’ he takes that opportunity to talk to them about the true God that they do not know. He speaks to them about the creator of all, and then he leads to the fact of Jesus Christ, who has risen.
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This was what I was speaking to the 8th grade about recently. When they go to high school they will encounter people who say they don’t believe in God. What should they do, what should we say? Because we have to say something!
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Do what St. Paul did. He tries to speak to them first about the True God, using what they know, even referring to their own poets and this idol they have, to some ‘unknown god.’ So we can first talk about the fact that this entire beautiful universe, in it’s complexity, cannot ‘create itself,’ there had to be an origin to all things. If science says it all started with the Big Bang 14 billion years ago, that all the matter and energy, all that we see – exploded forth from a tiny dot – how did this begin except by a Creator. All of this can’t create itself.
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Like St. Paul, having first spoken about God’s existence, then we tell them about Jesus. God himself came down from heaven; he entered his own creation; the Son of God became Man, and lived our life; he taught and then he suffered and died for us and rose from the dead, so that we can do the same.
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Jesus is a fact. There is more evidence that Jesus existed than that there was Julius Cesar or Thomas Jefferson. Jesus Christ did many miracles, instantly curing people, raising people from the dead, and himself.
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‘Well, they may say, I believe that Jesus was a good teacher, like Budhah or Ghandi or Mohammed or Confucious. ‘No, we must reply,’ you cannot say that. Jesus claimed to be God. He said ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’ ‘I am the Way.’ ‘You can’t be saved without believing in me. Yesterday we read, our Lord said over and over: ‘I and the Father are One.’ ‘To see me, is to see the Father.’ Jesus is the Revelation of God, he is the face of God in the world.
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We present the truth to our friends, then they have to decide whether they will seek out Jesus, or not. Everyone must choose to follow him, or reject him. There is no middle ground. And it will be very much like with St. Paul: some said ‘this is foolish,’ but others said, ‘I would like to hear more.’

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