When was the last time you were astonished? Astonishment is a wonderful thing isn’t it? It happens when we encounter something unexpected and wildly good. Videos of this sort of thing are passed around on the internet every day. One of my favorites is when an infant shares his food. Have you seen these? There’s the one year old sitting in his chair, relishing his cheerios or spaghetti noodles, not even comprehending what he’s doing; he can barely control his arms well enough to put the food in his mouth instead of his chin… then he reaches out and tries to hand you a cheerio or a noodle. Where did that come from? What inspired that act of generosity? It came from his heart; there were no ulterior motives; only some glimmer of consideration for us to share in this goodness he was experiencing.
Do we remember ever having an impulse to evangelize? Maybe we were raised Catholic, and all the people we ever knew growing up were believers. When we got to school, maybe around the first grade, we realized that some of our classmates didn’t believe in God. Wasn’t it a shock? How could that be… didn’t they know? Probably we immediately had an impulse to tell them, and maybe we tried or at least we thought about saying something. What has happened to that initial impulse now that we are grown up? Today our readings are very much connected to the impulse of evangelization… to being missionaries in today’s world.