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The Confidence of Paul

Perhaps because of or in light of my soccer sidelines observations this past weekend, today’s first reading and our priest’s homily about it had me squirming a little.

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
And now, behold, I know that all you among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom will see my face no more.
Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you,
for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20: 24-27)


Paul is anticipating his martyrdom, yet he approaches his Final Judgment with confidence. He knows he has faithfully represented Christ to all he has encountered.

How well have I represented Christ? Have I been a model of Christian truth, charity and compassion as I drove the crazy freeways around Washington D.C.? How about as I interacted with other soccer parents? Do I bring Christ’s love and mercy to my family?

I am afraid I cannot answer with the confidence of Paul. Fortunately Christ is merciful. I can ‘fess up my failings and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. Then once again I can seek to faithfully declare “the whole counsel of God”.

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