Sunday, November 17, 2019

Evangelization: Friendship, Not Rocket Science

One of my favorite places to be is on the steps of church before and after Sunday Mass. It's where I encounter, albeit briefly, the most students. A lot of times it is just a quick hello, but it is also a time for students to ask questions, request prayers, go to confession, or have some brief conversation. 

Today after Mass, as I was talking to a couple of students, I noticed that there was a guy waiting to talk with me. He introduced himself, mentioned that he is friends with another student that I know, and then said that this other student has been inviting and encouraging him to come to Mass. That's why he was at Mass today, because a friend invited him. He and I will meet up soon, but I was really struck by the simplicity of the whole thing. A friend invited him to Mass. I had the sense that the friend has been inviting him for a while. And then, today, he agreed.

The world "evangelization" can seem daunting and complicated. My encounter with that young man today reminded me that evangelization is not rocket science. Evangelization is friendship. One person discovered something good and beautiful and true. Moved by this discovery, he wanted to share it with a friend, and so he invited his friend. He repeatedly invited his friend. And then, his friend said, "Yes."

Who knows what happens next? Freedom is always at play. Evangelization is risky. It's a gamble. Maybe someone will say, "Yes." Maybe they'll say, "No." Fear of failing, fear of being uncomfortable, fear of being rejected can hinder us from evangelizing. But what kind of friends are we, if we let fear hinder us from loving our friends? 

A young man came to Mass today. He came because his friend invited and encouraged him. We should all hope to be that kind of friend. We should all hope to be that kind of evangelizer. 

1 comment:

  1. It is exactly like that Fr Barnes, at our parish we have many examples of this, we are called evangelize indeed