I’m a gal who just loves to check things off my to-do list, and also one who derives a lovely inverted sense of achievement by surrendering my to-dos to the Lord. (“Ta-da! Look what He did!”) It can be a frustration, then, when I assess my attempts to evangelize, because I always feel like the results fall way short of the goal. Has that been your experience too? In conversation with a mentor, I recently realized that many (if not all) truly effective evangelizers feel the same way. The reasons make sense.
If we consider the job undone, we will keep doing it. If we acknowledge that we are not capable of doing it very well, we will remain humble. If we humbly press on, we will grow in our own faith in addition to helping others grow. If we recognize that the smallest of planted seeds is still important, we will more closely speak God’s language. If we do make any genuine progress forward, we will come to realize – to our great relief and joy – that we will never, in this lifetime, fully grasp how very much He who is Love is in love with us… that there is always more… that He constantly makes all things new. In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis calls this a life of “apostolic endurance,” and he invites us to embrace it.
So let us each remain encouraged as we continue to speak His life, love, mercy, and hope to the other souls we meet. May God bless our every effort, and may He someday bring it all to completion.