Grace to you!
The Soul of the Apostolate by Fr. Jean-Baptiste Chautard is one of the classics of the 20th century. In it, Fr. Chautard explores what should be the inner driving inspiration for any minister of God’s Word and the sacraments. It’s a book I recommend for any who wants to develop a keen sense of apostolic zeal.
Many accuse Saint Paul of being a man of straight talk. Surely, he is a straight shooter. But there is in his candid approach to life and the gospel, what is common to many who are outright honest about their life.
Through his farewell wishes and address to the Thessalonians, we see the kind of pastor he was. His personality is weaved all through the pages and he conveys his deep conviction about the Good News. He reminded the young church of Thessalonica that he worked hard never to be a burden on anyone. He didn't take the privileges of him being a minister for granted. He worked to earn his living.
Hear him out as he boldly makes claim to what he had done and his approach to the ministry: “You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers. As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children, exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into his Kingdom and glory” (1 Thes 2:10-12).
I wonder how many preachers today could boldly declare as Saint Paul did.
Contrast this testimony of Paul with the hypocrisy of the Scribes and the Pharisees. They hardly practiced what they preach for which the Lord denounced their behavior (Mt 23:27-32).
The lesson here is that the life-example of ministers or leaders is as crucial to the ethos of their leadership as are the words they utter.
Saint Augustine, whose feast day we celebrate today, is a good example of this credibility and holiness in Church leadership. Ask for his intercession as we lead in the ways of Christ.
May we live lives that are consistent with our vocation. Amen. Saint Augustine, Pray for us. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Week 21 Ordinary Time: 1 Thes 2:9-13; Mt 23:27-32]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.