"I, Paul, ambassador of Christ and now a prisoner for Him, appeal to you for my child whom I have begotten during my imprisonment." —Philemon 9-10
Paul led Onesimus, a runaway slave and fellow prisoner, to the Lord. Paul had also led Onesimus' owner, Philemon, to the Lord. Paul converted both slave and owner, both poor and rich. In his ministry of evangelization, Paul even did the unthinkable by converting both Jews and Gentiles.
Most people come to the Lord because of the witness of someone like them. It takes an amazing person to lead to the Lord people of different backgrounds. For example, most people who would identify with and have compassion for a runaway slave, don't also relate to the slave-owner, or vice versa. It requires exceptional love to care about both the slave and the owner.
List the people you have been instrumental in leading to the Lord. If you observe significant differences in your converts' ages, backgrounds, races, and economic status, then you have a love that covers a multitude of sins (1 Pt 4:8) and bridges the greatest gaps.
Evangelization is primarily a matter of deep love, and cross-cultural evangelization is a matter of even deeper love. May we love the lost more than we love ourselves. May we have a river of love so deep that it will cover not only those close and familiar to us but also those far away and different from us.
Prayer: Father, may Your love impel me (2 Cor 5:14) to break new ground in sharing my faith.
Promise: "A time will come when you will long to see one day of the Son of Man but will not see it." —Lk 17:22
Praise: St. Frances Xavier Cabrini helped her parents until their deaths and then helped her twelve brothers and sisters before entering the convent.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Evangelism and Worship or our tape on audio AV 49-1 or video V-49.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008
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