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22nd Week in Ordinary Time
We speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:13)
Have you ever worked in public relations? You probably have, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. If you’ve ever commended a friend when they weren’t around, or sung the praises of your favorite restaurant, that’s a form of PR! It’s all about strategic conversation. It’s meant to help other people appreciate someone or something more in the hopes that they will develop their own relationship with that person or organization.
In today’s first reading, Paul affirms that we are all called to be in public relations. Our job is to engage people in a conversation that will help them appreciate God and welcome him into their lives. Throughout your life, you will connect with countless people, some of whom you know well and others whom you just meet in passing. Some of these people know the truth about God and his love for the world, but others may have misconceptions. Some may feel far from God, while others deny his existence. So you have to learn how to tailor your words and gestures to suit each person. Like a good PR person, you have to be flexible and creative.
If this is starting to seem like a job for someone with a little more field experience, don’t worry. Paul encourages us not to rely only on our human abilities—they simply aren’t enough. Not even the smoothest evangelist can draw a person to the Lord on his or her own. You need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Let him help steer your conversations in the right direction. Let him give you suggestions about how you can connect with each person you are speaking with.
It takes just a little practice to keep one ear open to the person you are speaking with and the other ear open to the Spirit. What does this person need right now? What does he or she think about God? How can I show God’s love to him or her? The Spirit loves to answer these questions!
So work on your PR abilities. You’ll be surprised at how often the Spirit suggests a thought or idea that will make a big difference in someone’s life!
“Holy Spirit, speak through me so that people may come to know you better.”
Psalm 145:8-14; Luke 4:31-37
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