show mercy, the fruit of its own experience of
the power of the Father’s infinite mercy. Let us
try a little harder to take the first step and to be-
come involved. Jesus washed the feet of his dis-
ciples. The Lord gets involved and he involves
his own, as he kneels to wash their feet. He tells
his disciples: “You will be blessed if you do this”
13:17). An evangelizing community gets in-
volved by word and deed in people’s daily lives;
it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if
necessary, and it embraces human life, touching
the suffering flesh of Christ in others. Evan-
gelizers thus take on the “smell of the sheep”
and the sheep are willing to hear their voice.
An evangelizing community is also supportive,
standing by people at every step of the way, no
matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove
to be. It is familiar with patient expectation and
apostolic endurance. Evangelization consists
mostly of patience and disregard for constraints
of time. Faithful to the Lord’s gift, it also bears
fruit. An evangelizing community is always con-
cerned with fruit, because the Lord wants her to
be fruitful. It cares for the grain and does not
grow impatient at the weeds. The sower, when
he sees weeds sprouting among the grain does
not grumble or overreact. He or she finds a way
to let the word take flesh in a particular situation
and bear fruits of new life, however imperfect
or incomplete these may appear. The disciple is
ready to put his or her whole life on the line, even
to accepting martyrdom, in bearing witness to Je-
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