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Richard Nichols S.J.May 11, 2024 12:00:00 AM1 min read

11 May 2024

Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Preachers often get nervous when speaking to a group of Jesuits.  Whatever the preacher says, there is a good chance that someone there has already taught a course on the subject, and graded papers on the particular topic.  The content of the preaching will be under scrutiny, not to mention the style.  The preacher will be aware that his knowledge and rhetoric have room for growth. 
               Apollos is a good model for preachers aware of their own imperfections.  It is related in Acts chapter 18 that Apollos was an eloquent speaker and an expert on the Old Testament.  The text praises his preaching both for good content and ardent style.  Apollos vigorously refuted the opponents of Christianity in public, establishing from the scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.   And yet, he was not perfect.  He did have room for growth.  For example, Apollos did not have a satisfactory understanding of Christian baptism.  A married couple, Priscilla and Aquila, “took him aside and explained to him the Way of God more accurately.”  The text doesn’t say whether Apollos was pleased to receive their explanation, but he certainly learned from it. 
               The question for our reflection today is this: do we, imperfect preachers, have the courage to speak, like Apollos, about Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, or are we too afraid of saying something wrong?  If, perhaps, we are apprehensive about misspeaking, let us ask God for boldness, and let us trust that he will send someone to teach us, someone like Priscilla and Aquila.  With the help of our fellow disciples, we can do better next time.