Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Spirit of Your Father Speaking through You

July 10, 2009

Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

... God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called, “Jacob! Jacob!” He answered, “Here I am.” Then he said: “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation. Not only will I go down to Egypt with you; I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes.” (Genesis 46:2-4)

The Lord watches over the days of the blameless; their heritage lasts forever. They will not be disgraced when times are hard; in days of famine they will have plenty. (Psalms 37:18-19)

Jesus said to his Apostles: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:16-20)


Lord, speak through me when I encounter the pharaohs, wolves, governors, and kings in my life. Let me get out of the way so You can change their lives.


Some people don’t want to listen to God. They blame Him for their problems, they find it difficult to accept His presence, they wonder how there can be a God when bad things happen to good people.

They also don’t want to listen to other people talk about God and their faith and their passion for belief. They find such conversations boring, tiresome, and unbelievable. They don’t recognize the fire. And that’s the problem when we lecture our friends, neighbors, and relatives about the importance of having a stronger relationship with God. We plan out and worry over what to say and how to say it, as if it’s our own message we’re carrying rather than letting the Spirit take over.

In today’s first reading, Jacob has resolved to take all he has to see his beloved son Joseph before Jacob dies. Don’t worry, God tells him; it’s going to be all right. I’ll go with you.

Jesus tells the Apostles the same thing in the Gospel reading: Don’t worry about what to say when you’re handed over to the nonbelievers; it’s going to be all right. God will give you the words. His Spirit will be with you.

I spent decades avoiding people who talked about God and going to church and praise Jesus. When I finally did listen, it was because God manifested Himself in people who talked instead about their own struggles and how God was with them through the loss of family members, health issues, career crises, and other challenges.

Micromanagement isn’t a good idea in your family, your parish, your workplace, or your ministry. Don’t question why you are sent to nonbelievers; like Jacob, say, “Here I am” with the confidence you’ll have the help you need.


Someone you think doesn’t have a relationship with Christ is trying to find one. Be open to sharing your story, unvarnished, with him or her.