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January 25 | Enthusiasm
How did Saint Paul the Apostle write nearly a fourth of the words in the New Testament and do more than almost anyone else to spread Christianity all across the known world?
Enthusiasm. Saint Paul’s enthusiasm for the faith set him on fire. He was so enthusiastic about Jesus that he was willing to die for him. And in the end, he did.
The virtue of enthusiasm leads us not just to love God and neighbor, but to vigorously seek out opportunities to do so. It reflects the state of a person’s heart. In Saint Paul, it reflected his utter love for Jesus, and drove him across cities, kingdoms, and seas to proclaim the Good News.
Paul's missionary journeys are legendary. Traveling across the Roman Empire, from the Middle East to Rome itself, he established twenty known churches and pulled people in from all sorts of backgrounds with his infectious enthusiasm. He faced immense hardships, including imprisonment, beatings, and shipwrecks, but his enthusiasm never waned.
We all owe a debt of gratitude to Paul for his missionary work, because almost all of us are descendants in faith of the early Christians he converted.
Paul’s enthusiasm becomes personal when we read his letters to the early Christian churches. He instructs the church in Philippi: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4-7) And he exclaims to the church in Corinth: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
What could you accomplish with such enthusiasm? What if you were as enthusiastic about Jesus as Paul was? One thing is for sure: you would draw people to Jesus, just like Paul.
With Paul’s enthusiasm, may we all become saints.
Where in my life and faith is my enthusiasm waning? What are some practical ways I can stoke the flames of my enthusiasm?
I am enthusiastic about Jesus and his mission for my life!
This reflection is brought to you from book title.
Patron Saint of: Missionaries and Evangelists
Feast Day: January 25
Feast Day Shared By: Saint Ananias of Damascus
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