Acts 17:15, 22-18:1
Some years ago, Mr. Suki Sivam, a Hindu motivational thinker, spoke about an experience he had when he was studying at a Christian school in Chennai. Once, a student was drawing a picture when the teacher was teaching in the classroom. The teacher got angry and asked him to stand outside the classroom as a punishment. Br. Anslem, the principal, happened to visit the classes and saw the boy standing outside the classroom door. He asked him what the reason was for this. The student responded saying, "I was drawing when the teacher was teaching in the class." The principle took him to the principal’s room and asked him to draw his picture. This boy drew a picture of principle so well that the principal was amazed. The principal appreciated this very much and even gave him some more sketches to draw. Then he said, "I ask you to do one thing, that is, not to draw during the class hour." He took him back to the teacher and asked the teacher to excuse the boy this time. Bro. Anslem had a beautiful way of communicating with this boy and helping him correct his mistake. The student never drew pictures during class time again.
We see a similar thing in today’s first reading. Paul uses the shrine to the "Unknown God" of the Athens to speak about the God who has raised Jesus from the dead. He had a beautiful way of speaking about God’s creation of the world and humankind’s search for meaning in life. In the end though, only a few respond to his preaching, while the rest found it hard to accept the idea of the resurrection from the dead. In the gospel, Jesus too understands his disciples and encourages them by saying that he would send the Holy Spirit who would be a teacher guiding believers to the truth. God’s revelation likewise will unfold slowly in God’s own time. God is a gentle and patient teacher.
May the Lord help us to be always open to the Spirit. May He guide us and lead us gently to the truth.
Fr. Nelson, C.P. is a member of the Indian Vicariate and is currently assigned to St. Agnes Parish in Louisville, Kentucky.