Jesus went around to all the towns and villages.

What an amazing thought:  even Jesus had to evangelize!   Why didn’t he supernaturally infuse the knowledge of God into everyone’s mind?   As divine Creator, he easily could have compelled people to believe.   They would have known instantaneously that he was God and that he could redeem them from their sins.

But it wasn’t Jesus’ goal simply to pass out information.   And it wasn’t his goal to overwhelm his people with works of power.   He wanted a relationship with them.   He wanted them to love him for who he was and not for what he said or for what he could give them.   That’s why he chose ordinary human ways to reach out to them.   As Matthew tells us, Jesus visited “all the towns and villages”.   He walked the dusty roads.   He went into the synagogues, one at a time.   He talked to the villagers and got to know their stories.   And he healed them.

That’s a great example to follow.   We might think we need a complex plan to bring the good news to our friends or family members or even strangers.   Or we might just wish God would infuse them with knowledge of the gospel.   But Jesus shows us the right place to start: through relationships.

How?   Make yourself present to people, as Jesus did.   Listen to them.   Show them some kindness.   So many people just want to be heard; they just want someone to treat them with a little kindness.   As you start doing that, you will see trusting relationships beginning to form.

It’s in the context of a relationship that you are able to speak honestly about who God is in your life.   It’s when a friend asks, “Why do you even go to church?” that you can share how the Eucharist gives you strength.   It’s when he comments on the Bible you keep in your car that you can talk about how you hear God speaking to you through Scripture.

Relationships.   That’s where it all starts.   But it doesn’t end there.   With every friendship you make and every encounter you have, you can be sowing seeds that lead someone closer to the Lord.

word among us