Do you remember falling in love? I do. I remember seeing Connie (my wife) across the room. She was talking to my roommate. I went over and introduced myself, and it turned out that a mutual friend of ours had been trying to set us up. I ended up asking her out on a date and the rest, as they say, is history.
But when did I fall in love. When did infatuation mature into love? Was it on the first date? She looked great! We had a lot of fun. We had wonderful conversation. Was it love then? Probably not. But the time we spent together on that date made me much more attracted to her. This heightened attraction led to me asking her out on another date. Our time together on that date led to future dates, led to greater knowledge of each other, led to greater feelings toward each other, led eventually to love.
So, this article is not really about my marriage, but as Christians we need to understand that each person is called into a relationship with Jesus, and that relationship grows in a very similar fashion to the way our human love relationships grow. We are called to evangelize by virtue of our Baptism. Often we mistake catechizing for evangelizing.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There is definitely a catechetical element to our evangelizing. I learned more about Connie as we spent time together. The more I learned, the more my feelings for her grew. And the more they grew, the more I was interested in spending time with her and learning more about her. Our catechesis is only one dimension of our evangelization. When we teach people about the Father, Son and/or the Holy Spirit, that teaching should lead to a greater desire to spend time with God. Our fervor should grow and lead to a desire to know even more. A healthy cycle of knowledge and intimacy leading to each other should ensue, much like in our human relationships. Go make disciples of the whole world!
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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