Editor’s note: The Catholic Match Institute is excited to present a series from Marriage: Unique for a Reason, an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Read More Editor’s note: The Catholic Match Institute is excited to present a series from Marriage: Unique for a Reason, an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Dear Father John, Is there anything wrong with putting too much emphasis in my passion and or apostolate?Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ. Going beyond exterior appearances, I perceive in others an interior desire for a sign of love, of concern.

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We all know people who have left the Church because of this.

They learned how to make the Sign of the Cross; they learned a few answers to questions in classes; they learned when to stand and sit and kneel during Mass; but they never experienced a personal encounter with God.

Otherwise, we will end up betraying the very idea we are trying to communicate.

Jesus commanded us to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew ).

THE INSTRUCTIONS JESUS gave when he sent out the first Christian missionaries included a curious directive: “Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave” (Matthew ).

The implication is clear: Mission, for a Christian, is primarily about people.

The real heart of evangelization is found not in perfect pastoral programs or killer apps, which are merely useful instruments, but in relationships of love—love for Christ and love for neighbor.

Pope Benedict XVI put this beautifully in his very first encyclical letter, Love of neighbor is thus shown to be possible in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus.

Any apostolic activity we engage in should include, or at least be open to, this dimension.

Christianity is not a technique that people can learn and apply with clinical precision.

Apostolic activities are meant to be catalysts that initiate or deepen Christian experience, which is always in some way an experience of God and God’s family.