A noisy gong and a clanging symbol, that’s what St. Paul called all of us who seemed to have everything, but not love. If we don’t have love, then we are nothing; and let’s add to that, if we don’t have love, our evangelizing efforts will amount to nothing.
You see too many people think that the truth is enough, or that the beauty of creation or a life well lived will be the coup de gras, pushing others over the edge and into the fields of Christian living. No, that is only the beginning, a door opened so that something greater can step through.
Love then, is the great glue that sticks the revelation of our Lord to their hearts. It is the great interpreter so that your various attempts to speak the Gospel cannot be twisted and read into. It is the honey, that makes even difficult truths of the Faith (truths that would change and challenge us to grow and get beyond ourselves), well, much easier to swallow.
Remember, without love, you are not an evangelizer, but a polarizer, pushing people to one side or another because you lack the one thing that keeps all of them and yourself right in the center.
But if you love while you evangelize, rather, if your evangelizing efforts are an expression of love, then you will naturally engender friendship. You will naturally become affectionate. You will with great passion and zeal seek them out in the lost places of the world;
And if you have love, then you will evangelize by giving them the best of yourself, even if that means hanging on a cross so that they know how far your God has gone for you both.
So if you have found their language of evangelization, great, now comes the challenge to love them. And if you can do that, then your mission to bring them to Christ Jesus will be hampered by nothing.
Friendship, affection, eros, agape; four ancient categorizations of love that can bring any relationship to the next level of authenticity. It works for evangelization too.
I’ll see you soon.
Read the other posts of the series The Four Loves of Evangelization:
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