missionaries, it is primarily because Jesus told us
that “by this my Father is glorified, that you bear
much fruit” (
15:8). Beyond all our own pref-
erences and interests, our knowledge and moti-
vations, we evangelize for the greater glory of
the Father who loves us.
The spiritual savour of being a people
268. The word of God also invites us to rec-
ognise that we are a people: “Once you were no
people but now you are God’s people” (
1 Pet
2:10). To be evangelizers of souls, we need to de-
velop a spiritual taste for being close to people’s
lives and to discover that this is itself a source of
greater joy. Mission is at once a passion for Jesus
and a passion for his people. When we stand
before Jesus crucified, we see the depth of his
love which exalts and sustains us, but at the same
time, unless we are blind, we begin to realize that
Jesus’ gaze, burning with love, expands to em-
brace all his people. We realize once more that
he wants to make use of us to draw closer to his
beloved people. He takes us from the midst of
his people and he sends us to his people; without
this sense of belonging we cannot understand
our deepest identity.
269. Jesus himself is the model of this meth-
od of evangelization which brings us to the very
heart of his people. How good it is for us to con-
template the closeness which he shows to every-
one! If he speaks to someone, he looks into their
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