Do the Work of an Evangelist

St. Paul instructs Timothy, his spiritual son, to “DO THE WORK OF AN EVANGELIST   (2 Timothy 4:5).   St. John Chrysostom offers some thoughts on what doing the work of an evangelist might mean:

St. Innocent, Evangelizer and Equal to the Apostles

“Do not neglect your brethren, therefore, nor consider only your own concerns; instead, let each of you be anxious to snatch your neighbor from the jaws of the devil and those illicit spectacles, and lead him to church, showing him in all restraint and gentleness both the extreme risk of harm and also the extent of the good things to be gained here.  Do this not merely once or twice but ceaselessly.  I mean even if today he doesn’t heed your words, he will heed them in future; if not in future, in due course seeing your insistence he will perhaps feel ashamed, will come to respect your care of him and desist from those harmful pursuits.  Never say, Once, twice, three times, again and again I told him and got nowhere.  Don’t stop telling him; the more you persist, the more your reward will be increased as well.  Don’t you see how much longsuffering we enjoy from the God of all, and how day after day we fail to heed his commands without his desisting from caring for us but rather supplying us with everything, making the sun to rise, giving us rain from heaven and everything else?  Let us, in exactly the same way, take great pains in regard to our brethren and take issue with that evil demon so as to render his wiles ineffectual. After all, if everyone attending here managed to gain one person, consider how much the Church would receive great satisfaction in the vast numbers of its children and the devil would be dismayed to see his net cast idly and to no purpose.  If  in fact you do this, you too will hear on the dread day, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful in a few things, I will put you in possession of many.”  (HOMILIES ON GENESIS 18-45)

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