Christian relationships on dating programs
Our apostolic endeavors have to be conceived and executed from that perspective.Apostolates like camps, schools, Bible studies, service projects, publishing houses, websites, hospitals, professional associations, conferences, radio shows, formation programs, and even whole parishes are never ends in themselves.And so we must resist the temptation to idolize our apostolates, as if the perfect apostolate will be able to conquer evil and usher in a new Golden Age of Christianity. Every period in the history of the Church has had its crises as well as its saints. Our Christian mission spurs us on to find creative ways to evangelize, to come up with new apostolates that can expand the reach—both in breadth and in depth—of Christ’s message in our world, but, in the end, they are merely tools.The real heart of evangelization is found not in perfect pastoral programs or killer apps, which are merely useful instruments, but in relationships of love—love for Christ and love for neighbor.To be Christ’s messengers to the world, his apostles and missionaries, requires us to care enough about the people whom Jesus came to save that we are willing to become vulnerable and enter into relationship with them: “Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave” (Matthew ).Any apostolic activity we engage in should include, or at least be open to, this dimension.Pope Benedict XVI put this beautifully in his very first encyclical letter, Love of neighbor is thus shown to be possible in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus.
Evangelization is never mechanical; it is never technocratic. It is here that appears the dynamism of the life of a Christian, an apostle: I chose you to go forth.
Christianity is not a technique that people can learn and apply with clinical precision.
Christianity is a network of faith-based relationships that flows outward from a personal encounter with the one, true, Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who is relationship and requires relationship: “Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).
This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings.
Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ. Going beyond exterior appearances, I perceive in others an interior desire for a sign of love, of concern.