If you are like me, you probably feel uncomfortable at times when talking directly about your relationship with God. I am concerned about sounding too “preachy” or “pious.” And yet, I know we are all called to share the good news and love with which God has blessed us so abundantly.

Today, Paul gives us a great example of how to do this; he is a clever preacher. He starts with the real lived experience of the Athenians by referencing their altar to an unknown God and the wisdom of their poets. He turns the unknown God into the one God of all creation and the poets’ wisdom into our deepest desire to be with God.

Ignatius himself was a believer in this approach. In a letter giving advice to Jesuits being missioned to preach the good news in Ireland, he says, “Whenever we wish to win someone over and engage him in the greater service of God our Lord, we should… enter through his door and come out God’s door.”

I am going to try to do this more often and more consciously.

—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.