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Don’t wait to be perfect, just share Christ today, wherever you are: Pope’s advice

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Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 01/11/23

Let the Lord do the convincing, Pope Francis said - just put Him in contact with people.

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Don’t wait to be perfect – just share Jesus today, wherever you find yourself. That is what Pope Francis recommended on this January 11, as he insisted that faith has to be “contagious.” Mission is the “oxygen of Christian life,” he said, because what we’re sharing is simply beauty and love — “the beauty of the Love that has looked upon us and lifted us up.”

Here is the message for us: We do not have to wait until we are perfect and have come a long way following Jesus to bear witness to Him, no. Our proclamation begins today, there where we live.

This was the Pope’s lesson as he began a new catechesis series on this theme, known as “apostolic zeal” – the desire to share the faith, to “evangelize,” to bring Christ and the Gospel to those around us and the ends of the earth.

And it does not begin by trying to convince others, no, not to convince: By bearing witness every day to the beauty of the Love that has looked upon us and lifted us up. And it is this beauty, communicating this beauty that will convince people – not communicating ourselves but the Lord Himself.

“We don’t proclaim ourselves,” the Pope said, “we don’t proclaim a political party, an ideology. No: We proclaim Jesus.”

“We need,” he said, “to put Jesus in contact with the people, without convincing them but letting the Lord do the convincing.”

A personal example

Illustrating his point, the Pope left his script to share a memory:

I remember once, in a hospital in Buenos Aires, the women religious who worked there left because there were too few of them, and they couldn’t run the hospital anymore.

And a community of sisters from Korea came. And they arrived, let’s say on a Monday for example (I don’t remember the day). They took possession of the sisters’ house at the hospital and on Tuesday they came down to visit the sick in the hospital, but they didn’t speak a word of Spanish. They only spoke Korean — but the patients were happy; they commented: “Well done! These nuns, bravo, bravo!”

“But what did the sister say to you?”

“Nothing, but with her gaze she spoke to me, they communicated Jesus …”

It was their gaze and their gestures that communicated — not themselves but Jesus, the Pope said.

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Pope Francis
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