the "teachable moment"
"The Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment all that should be said." —Luke 12:12
Only God knows what lies at the depths of the hearts of men and women (Sir 42:18). He knows what will reach a person's heart and what won't. We Christians, who are charged with making disciples, are "fishers of men" (Mt 4:19). We are like fishermen casting a line. Fishermen generally see only the surface of the water, not the fish under the water. Likewise, we see the outside of a person to whom we witness, but not the inside, while the Lord sees the inside as well (1 Sm 16:7). We Christians need "inside information" if we are to reach a human heart.
When Jesus called us to be fishers of men, He gave us the Holy Spirit to teach us to fish. The Spirit gives us that inside information, teaching us at any given "moment all that should be said" (Lk 12:12). If we use our own words, they might be eloquent, but they will ultimately be ineffective in catching men. However, the Spirit's words spoken through us will reach hearts.
Jesus, working through the Spirit, "will give [us] words and a wisdom" that those to whom we witness cannot oppose or contradict (Lk 21:15). Let us constantly, moment by moment, seek the Holy Spirit. He is the Master Communicator, and is able to teach us what to say. "Since we live by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's lead" (Gal 5:25). Come, Holy Spirit!
Prayer: Holy Spirit, bring to my mind all that You would have me say and erase from my mind what I should not say. Teach me "what to say and how to speak" (Jn 12:49).
Promise: God "has put all things under Christ's feet and has made Him, thus exalted, Head of the church, which is His body: the fullness of Him Who fills the universe in all its parts." —Eph 1:22-23
Praise: Although St. Margaret Mary only lived forty-three years, her devotion to the Sacred Heart has flourished for over three hundred years.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004