By Nick Sciarappa
I am so very unqualified to write this blog post. At least, that’s a temptation I feel every time I’m asked to give a Christian reflection.
There are so many talented, gifted speakers out there in the world. They move people with their words, and leave an impact that is sometimes, even life changing. God has given so many people the gift of amazing preaching. And it’s important! The best way to relate to anyone is by personally expressing yourself with passion. But me? I’ve always struggled with confidence in sharing my faith.
Last fall I was asked to give a talk on mercy at Pittsburgh’s St. Paul Cathedral this February. I felt so much pressure to give an amazing talk to everyone. I had to crush it… but who knows if I could relate to anyone? In the shadow of so many amazing speakers I thought:
“Who am I to give an effective reflection?”
The first reading from today (IS 50:4-9A) not only demolishes my doubt in sharing my reflections, but calls everyone to give witness to his or her faith. It starts our roaring with confidence, saying,
“The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
That I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.”
Immediately, this opening verse screams, “I’ve got this, not because of what I can do, but what God can do through the gifts He has given me.”
So, what has he given me? I think the answer two-fold. On one hand, God has given my… my very self. It’s pretty cool. When I talk about my faith, I can speak from my experience. It’s a great place to start. Experience is the self-evident gift God has given me to witness to others.
The second gift God seems to give in this brief passage is who I am preaching to: The weary.
When I look at social media, or encounter people struggling through life, I see a cry for direction, mercy, and love. I see people looking to be heard, and then, loved. Many times, I am the person struggling. What seems to bring me out of any funk, is hearing God speak through the witness of others.
The reading from Isaiah comes just 4 days before Easter: The resurrection of Christ. And so I challenge you (and myself) to tell the weary about your faith no matter how much you know, or how confident you feel about it.
In short: Religious people need your witness. Apathetic people your witness. I need your witness to help our faith grow.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick graduated from John Carroll University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, and a Catholic Studies Minor in May 2014. After a short residency reporting for the newspaper, National Catholic Reporter in Kansas City he stepped away from journalism into full time ministry. He works at Saints John and Paul Catholic Parish as a Media and Marketing Specialist, and at St. John Neumann as a Youth Minister in Pittsburgh, PA. He enjoys playing the ukulele and singing.