As I was recently checking out of a membership-based store, the cashier pressed me rather firmly about buying into the business’s "rewards" program. I endure this ritual every time I shop there, despite always saying I’m not interested.
Four days later, some folks from another religious denomination were canvassing our street and came to the front door. Once again I was on the receiving end of a vigorous sales pitch.
These incidents made me a bit uncomfortable. But the second episode, in particular, also got me to wondering: How fervent am I — or should I be — at "selling" my Catholic faith?
That’s a tough one for me. I’d like to believe that my faith is so strong, I wouldn’t think twice about encouraging others to become Catholic or, if they already belong to the church, become more active in it. However, a born salesperson I am not. And raising the subject of religion with others can mean risking rejection and inviting confrontation — types of situations that I’ve not always handled smoothly. I’m not so sure I have the required level of tenacity.
But that’s exactly what my faith calls me to do. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. Jesus’ edict seems pretty clear: Do whatever it takes to spread the good news.
There are lots of Catholics who promote the faith admirably with their actions. They pray, they attend Mass, they raise good families, they help the poor, they donate their time, talent and treasure. Some even write for their diocesan newspaper.
Yet to truly evangelize takes a special dose of courage — namely, the willingness to promote one’s beliefs in places that might not always be so welcoming. It’s a daunting ideal, but I’m guessing that through prayer I can draw closer toward it than I realize.