November 1, 2022 | Evangelization
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Dr. Jeff Andrini’s nephew displays the King Salmon he recently caught on a charter trip. COURTESY OF DR. JEFF ANDRINI

Tell a better story!

BY DR. JEFF ANDRINI, OFFICE OF EVANGELIZATION AND DISCIPLESHIP

Check out the King Salmon my nephew caught when we were on a charter trip a few weeks ago! Nice fish but seeing the picture does not do it justice. In fact, this kid lives to fish. The charter trip was a Christmas gift and we finally got it in during the three months of Michigan summer on the big lake.

We were trolling for a couple hours and had no hits. Snacks were good, company was great. Being on Lake Michigan is like being on the ocean. The cool breeze, the rocking of the boat, the warmth of the sun, these are precious moments of experiencing the gift of nature… and waiting for the bite.

The bite came! The rod popped off the downrigger and went straight up. You must grab it quick and reel until the line goes tight and then I handed the rod to my nephew. I knew it was big and was just praying he would land this fish. The line streamed out and finally after 15 minutes, the battle was over. His Christmas gift paid off big and he was one happy boy. And if you look really close at the picture, you can see my 10-inch fish hanging on the hook behind him. Not the most successful day of fishing but a story I’ll never forget!

As Christians, we need to learn to tell better stories. So often, like many in our culture, we tend to avoid politics and religion. For many of us, our lives have been filled with countless blessings, through our families and the love we have experienced in life, and we are grateful. We feel lucky and blessed, but our experience is not the same as so many. There is so much brokenness in our world that ripples out in people’s life experiences.

“To those who have been given much, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). We have good news! “You are loved” and this is not a message that all people hear very often. In our religion, we realize that God loves us personally. We are invited to participate in the communion of the Trinty; Father, Son, and Spirit, and live in this community of love. We are invited to encounter this union with God every day.

When we experience this love ourselves, our lives will overflow in love for others. If our religion is not a living connection to our loving Creator, we will miss the mark in living with gratitude and washing the feet of others. Our stories of faith should be rooted in the concrete ways God is working in my life today. Reflect on God’s blessings, be filled full and overflow with joy for our blessed life as Catholics. And tell stories that are rooted in your experience of a God who loves and provides! Start with a smile and tell a good story!

Peace,

Jeff

Dr. Jeff Andrini is the director of the Office of Evangelization and Discipleship. He wants to hear from you and maybe feature your questions in his column! Please email questions and comments to jeff.andrini@pastoral.org.


Originally printed in the November 2022 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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