The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you,
everyone who acknowledges me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others
will be denied before the angels of God.
“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven.
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not worry about how or what your defense will be
or about what you are to say.
For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”
Reflection (Sem. Eldrick Peña):
“For the Holy Spirit will teach you at the moment what you should say”
One of my waterloos is public speaking. Although I was a teacher before, and I communicate with my students very well (I even received the best faculty member award for 3 consecutive years when I was still teaching), I would become very nervous every time there would be a change in the environment I find myself speaking in. My heart will beat fast, I will panic, I will run for my breath and my body will tremble when I speak before an audience who are not familiar to me.
And this has been my struggle especially when I entered the seminary. Because in the seminary, there are many instances that require us to speak in front of the public, to give our meal sharing, to act as prayer leader in liturgical celebrations, to be an emcee in programs, and to sing the psalm during mass, etc.
So every time I am tasked to speak and give my sharing, I would pray fervently to the Holy Spirit and just entrust myself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, telling Him that I am offering such task for Him. I pray that He give me the words to say so that it is He whom the community will hear and not me. And God indeed works wonders for those who believe and trust Him. Although it was very obvious that I am always nervous in the sharings that I give, the brothers would say that my sharing is good and moving. And that I attribute not to myself, but to the Holy Spirit.
I am invited then to further develop my trust and confidence in the Holy Spirit, for it is the Holy Spirit that will give me voice if I feel nervous and unable to express myself especially if what I would say would be for the greater glory of God and for the coming of His kingdom.
It is also the Holy Spirit who gave our martyrs, Sts. John de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues, and companions the courage to shed their blood for the faith.