Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Homily 358 – Reason for Hope – 6th Sunday of Easter

May 21st, 2017, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Door to DoorAs we read about the spread of the gospel in the Acts of the Apostles, it’s easy to forget that the impetus that first caused this going forth was a persecution that arose in Jerusalem. Even today, we sometimes need a little “push” to get us going sharing the faith. Sometimes that push comes in the form of a challenge from someone. There is an entire branch of theology called “apologetics” that deals with this call to defend the faith. Literally, the word “apology” means “to give an explanation.”

In today’s second reading, St. Peter urges us to be ready to give such an “explanation” for the “reason for your hope.” In today’s homily I consider the two-step process that St. Peter outlines for this type of evangelization. First, we must sanctify Christ in our hearts, and only then will be ready to go out to make this “reasoned explanation.”

Whenever we attempt to share the faith, we must always remember that it is primarily Jesus himself that we are trying to share. It is important that we learn the answer to some basic arguments so we can give the “reason for our hope.” But we must always do this mindful of the fact that trading Bible verses and catechism citations is not the goal. There’s more to it then simply winning an argument.

In the end, the Holy Spirit, the “advocate” as he is called in today’s gospel, is working behind the scenes. He’s like your attorney, a technical meaning of the word “advocate.” He will take your language and translate it into a message the can be received by the heart of the other person.

So let’s be ready to give an explanation for the reason for our hope. Let’s do our homework so as not to keep passing by opportunities. But when you go out to share, don’t forget to do it with love and don’t forget to ask your advocate for help.

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