“What is the best way to evangelize the world? Fall in love with Jesus.”
But wait a minute…that sounds a bit too easy. Aren’t we supposed to be searching out souls to preach to? We’ve been taught so much truth- shouldn’t we be out there teaching, writing, and speaking on behalf of all we know? All of these fall into a second place position, for without love, we are but “clanging symbols”. And how do we fill ourselves with love? We must KNOW Love to SHOW Love!
At a recent graduation mass for my niece, the celebrant gave his first homily as a priest. Gifted in his sharing, it became clear to all present that he himself was a man of prayer first. He commissioned the graduates to be disciple of Jesus, by first and foremost falling in love with Jesus. “Spend time in prayer!” he urged them. And only then can our mission spread out- to family members and friends, those closest to us, and maybe then, for a chosen few, to the multitudes.
Spending time letting ourselves be loved, seen, and known by God is essential to our very existence. There’s a loneliness that only He can fill….a love that only He can give. Distractions and busyness plague all of us, but the battle for our souls is worth the inner fight! God can do great things in us, if we would only allow Him too. And the greatest thing He does is simply gazing at us intimately, and loving us so deeply that He draws out all the good in us- good we didn’t even know was there.
Think then about people who have fallen in love. They are giddy, can’t hold back the smile….a glow emanates from them. They do crazy things! St. Paul called himself a “fool for Christ”. All lovers want to do is tell you how good their Beloved is. See, we are already there- evangelizing! Tell others about what God has done for you! Tell them how He has loved you! Let them know where you’ve been broken and He’s healed you. Let them know how He’s changed your life. And fight to the death to preserve His Good Name. Let no harm come to Him in speech, word or action. Defend His Honor, and proclaim how kind He had been. With all humility, let others know that He’s the one who has made you great. As Mother Teresa used to say as she pounded her chest, “Look what God has done with nothing.”
And finally, be willing to sacrifice for your Beloved. For true love always involves a gift of self, a surrender of our own will to the other. On this beautiful feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, may we fall in love and be loved by His Sacred Heart.
Copyright 2013 Cynthia Costello