In our first reading, the prophet Zechariah proposes a very hopeful outcome for efforts at evangelization, if we take up that ministry with zeal. Many cities, many peoples, powerful nations will look to Jerusalem and God’s people because they know God is with them. That’s what we would want too, wouldn’t we? We would want all people to turn away from whatever philosophy or false god they worship and come to the Lord, who is the Way to eternal life.
Interestingly, the apostles take a different approach to evangelization. When the people of the Samaritan village would not welcome him, because he was on the way to Jerusalem, they want to call down fire on the village. As if they could; really it’s a rather humorous exchange. Jesus instead decides to continue the way to Jerusalem and let them be. He continues to foster the hope that even the Samaritans will see the truth and turn to the Lord.
So we have to be careful about our own approach to evangelization. We are all called to evangelize according to our vocation and state in life. We are called to witness to the Gospel by the way we live our lives, by the words we speak, and the deeds we do. People have to see authenticity in us so that they will be intrigued to follow Jesus and have hope of eternal life.
Today, may we have the confidence of the Psalmist who sings, “God is with us.” May we live that conviction so boldly that others will want to take hold of our garments and follow the Lord with us.