In today’s reading, Paul was “compelled by the Spirit” to return to Jerusalem where hardship and suffering awaited him. Despite the uncertainties of the future, he knew God was calling him to risk stepping into something new. I think we’ve all been “compelled by the Spirit” at one point or another. There are moments when we feel a ‘right-ness’ in our gut, and we know exactly what we ought to do.

However, unlike Paul, we often hesitate. We waffle and wring our hands. We find creative ways to avoid doing what is right: to stand up for someone in need; to forgive ourselves; to speak tough love; to let someone new into our lives; to take a new path or change our routine; to vulnerably ask for help. And yet the “Gospel of God’s grace” calls us to take action with great hope.

How is the Spirit compelling you to step out of your comfort zone here and now? What’s holding you back from taking that risk? Today, ask God for Paul’s courage.

—Aaron Pierre, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin Province, is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.