The "E" Word
In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus calls Philip to follow him, and Philip announces to Nathanael that he has found the Messiah. Nathanael is skeptical until Jesus tells him he was watching Nathanael as he was sitting under a fig tree in a private moment.
This encounter is part of an ongoing pattern in the Gospels and particularly John's Gospel in which one person comes to understand who Jesus is and then immediately leads others to Jesus. Andrew learned of Jesus and went immediately after his brother Simon (whom Jesus called Peter). The Samaritan woman met Jesus at the well and led her whole village to him.
The challenge is that the Gospel seems to expect that those of us who have discovered who Jesus is, will go and tell others and in this telling they too will come to know him for themselves.
We have seen evangelization done badly—one person beating another up with the Gospel at times—and can forget that originally, evangelism just means sharing Good News. How do we capture that simplicity of sharing Good News when our friends and neighbors think they already know all about Jesus?