home. Being a disciple means being constantly
ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and
this can happen unexpectedly and in any place:
on the street, in a city square, during work, on a
128. In this preaching, which is always respect-
ful and gentle, the first step is personal dialogue,
when the other person speaks and shares his or
her joys, hopes and concerns for loved ones, or
so many other heartfelt needs. Only afterwards
is it possible to bring up God’s word, perhaps by
reading a Bible verse or relating a story, but al-
ways keeping in mind the fundamental message:
the personal love of God who became man, who
gave himself up for us, who is living and who
offers us his salvation and his friendship. This
message has to be shared humbly as a testimo-
ny on the part of one who is always willing to
learn, in the awareness that the message is so rich
and so deep that it always exceeds our grasp. At
times the message can be presented directly, at
times by way of a personal witness or gesture,
or in a way which the Holy Spirit may suggest
in that particular situation. If it seems prudent
and if the circumstances are right, this fraternal
and missionary encounter could end with a brief
prayer related to the concerns which the person
may have expressed. In this way they will have an
experience of being listened to and understood;
they will know that their particular situation has
been placed before God, and that God’s word
really speaks to their lives.
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