We make a terrible mistake when we think that we have to be someone special for the Lord to really love us and use us for an important work in His divine plan. As we can see by the roll call of the apostles, Jesus chooses very ordinary men to train them in the ways of His Kingdom. There are fishermen, a tax collector, a patriotic zealot and so on. Jesus has not gone looking for the richest or smartest people in the land. This tells us that the criteria for working in the Kingdom of God are very different than those criteria that the world relies upon. As we follow the story of Jesus’ ministry and then through into the life of the Early Church in the Acts of the Apostles, we discover that what is important is faithfulness to God and a willingness to trust that the Holy Spirit is leading you in the right direction.

This means that none of us are excluded from participating in the work of evangelization. The truth of the matter is that we are all required to do this by our baptism. Baptism does not just mark our entry into the Church and the reception of the gift of salvation; it also begins our responsibility of having to share the Good News with others. Jesus officially sends out his apostles as a sign of this aspect of our baptismal calling. We can take it as fact that we are all meant to be on mission, looking for new ways to introduce the life of faith to those who do not yet know Jesus.

It is important for us to remember that even though the Holy Spirit does the work of the conversion of a person’s heart to Christ, He uses us as instruments by which to convince others of the necessity of conversion in their lives. Jesus gives His apostles and disciples authority as they go out to preach. At baptism we are similarly given the authority to proclaim the Good News through the lives that we live and the words that we speak.

There is no excuse why we cannot identify at least one person each year and make them our ‘evangelization project for that year. I do not mean to say that we should pester people to the point of annoying them in seeking to share the Gospel. What I am saying is that we can make a decision to fast and pray for that person or persons on a regular basis and look for opportune moments when to share with them our testimony. The two are very different approaches. The first relies upon our power to convince others of the truth of the Gospel, the second upon the power of the Holy Spirit to work in that person’s life. I think that the second way will be far more productive in the long term.

Who are you in the process of evangelizing at the moment? If it is no one, what about trying to find someone to pray for and share the Good News with them?

Holy Spirit, lead me to the right people as I seek to share the Gospel with others. I pray that you will prepare their hearts to receive the Good News of salvation and that you will give me the right words top speak to each person.