Monday, February 09, 2009
Sometimes all we're given is a moment, just a snapshot.
A guy from the City was just at my house to replace a water meter, and as I was signing the form to indicate the work had been done, he saw my Canon Law book and some stuff from Ecclesiology. That prompted him to ask if I was studying Theology, and when I said I was, he asked what program, etc.
So I gave the name of the program, and asked him if he was Catholic? (My house is VERY Catholic...crucifixes, statues, vigil candles....oy, I'm a geek!) And given the Code of Canon Law lying out, he would automatically have figured I'm Catholic if the other clues hadn't tipped him off!
As it turned out, he said he's a Christian, loves God and loves everything in learning about God, which I agreed. I also said one of the coolest aspects of my Master's program is the formation inherent within it...to learn about God and be changed through the encounter.
So he was off to his next appointment, we wished each other luck in that shared endeavor of pursuing God.
Was it evangelization? I'd say yes...because he knew I was Catholic and through the witness of my very home and the books lying around, he was prompted to ask me about it.
The first step in evangelization is relational, and maybe that's all we get. He didn't leave my house with an invite to come to Mass, he didn't leave with a tract or a flyer, he didn't leave after an apologetics discussion.
He left after a simple conversation about something we both as Christians share...love for God and a desire to know Him more deeply through learning about Him.
It won't be enough to bring him into the Church, but it is maybe a link in a long chain of Catholics he has or will meet who leave him with (hopefully) a good impression. Enough so that, if he is so disposed, he may ask those deepest questions...the ones that could lead him to Rome. It's so important to start with what's in common, and to respect the beliefs of those who come our way. That relational aspect always leads to another step. Maybe not with you, but with someone else who loves Our Lord and loves the Church He founded. None of us has come Home because of only one person; it is the work of everyone in the Mystical Body of Christ, and all roles are important.
Never be ashamed of your Faith. Never hide it, and always be ready to share it, even in the most simple way. Are you going to be the link to pass a soul on to another...or are you going to be the link that breaks?