Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
The account of St. Paul’s speech is one of the most telling in Acts. St. Paul goes to Athens, the city of those who prided themselves on high culture and the love of wisdom. Yet, it was also the city which had condemned Socrates to death, and at times sought more to be entertained than enlightened. As the author of Acts puts it “Now all the Athenians as well as the foreigners residing there used their time for nothing else but telling or hearing something new.” (Acts 17:21)
Given such an audience, he had a rather tough challenge in presenting Christianity. Perhaps the listeners would have been convinced if it had not been for Paul’s mention of the resurrection of the dead. That was too much for many Athenians, and they went home mocking Paul. Our Lord, too, when speaking to the disciples at the last supper also said, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” (John 16:12) A rather disappointing assessment, surely, but one followed by a promise, “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” (John 16:13)
This promise should give us a great desire for the Spirit whom Jesus promises. Let us pray that we may be docile enough to receive the Spirit of truth. Let us show our desire for this Spirit by how we use the gifts He has given us. If we use the learning and graces for God’s glory then it may be that He will give us more so that we may serve more. On the other hand, if we remain satisfied with our own wisdom, we may wind up scoffing at invitations from the Lord.