An Invitation to Believe

How many chances do we get? Who gets the chance? When?

In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles today, we see those who were given the opportunity to believe St. Paul’s witness to Jesus. But many rejected Paul’s preaching of the Word, thereby condemning themselves as “unworthy of eternal life” (cf. Acts 13:14, 43-52).

Many of the Gentiles, on the other hand, Paul writes, who were “destined for eternal life came to believe.” Faith is a gift, freely given by God and lovingly accepted by believers. God gives us many opportunities, sometimes every day, to respond. Often we do, other times we do not.

The Annual Catholic Appeal is an invitation to Believe. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the many blessings of God in our lives, and an opportunity to share these blessings. It all starts with faith. It begins when we say I Believe. Each person has the chance to say yes, to make a conscious decision to believe.

We often don’t think of “giving” as a way to choose eternal life. Certainly we cannot buy salvation with money. Giving, however, is a reflection of who we are, followers of Jesus. Giving demonstrates how we love, and how convincingly we care.