Staring at the packet the dermatologist handed me, I tried to process what had just happened. How did a routine skin cancer screening appointment end with me holding a pamphlet about birth control? I recalled the moment when she asked if I wanted to learn about an option to treat my acne. Not thinking twice since my wedding was a few months away, I agreed.
“I think some form of birth control would clear up your skin and help you plan your family,” she said, winking.
“Interesting . . . ” I replied unsure of what to say next. My then-fiancé and I were planning to follow the Church's teaching of being open to life in our marriage, but I had no idea how to tell her this without sounding awkward. I also didn’t want to seem ungrateful in declining her recommendation.
“I don’t think it's for me,” I blurted. My response was vague but as honest as I could be in that moment. Her smile turned to a look of surprise.
“Well, here’s some reading material. Let me know if you change your mind.” she said before leaving the exam room.
Today’s First Reading (Acts 5:27-33) reminded me of this experience. Unlike my response where I tiptoed around the truth, the Apostles spoke boldly to the Sanhedrin. “We must obey God rather than men,” (Acts 5:29) they said when asked why they didn’t stop preaching about Jesus.
Talk about having courage! I can think of several other instances where I’ve skirted around conversations to avoid sounding “too Catholic,” but the Apostles embraced every opportunity!
Let that be our challenge today, sisters. How can we be more like the Apostles? How can we care less about what others think and more about what God thinks? May we ask the Holy Spirit for help in those difficult moments where we are unsure of what to say and trust that the truth be shared.
Saint Peter and all the Apostles, pray for us that we may have the courage to share the good news.
Joan Geiger is a North Dakota native and new mother, and in her spare time she can be found going on adventures with her husband, working as a Registered Dietitian, and drinking coffee. You can find out more about her here.