Sometimes in the work of evangelization, we want our point of view to be understood and our beliefs to be held by those we’re speaking to so badly that we neglect pastoral measures and end up damaging our relationship with the person in question, which defeats the purpose of reaching out and evangelizing in the first place. In some cases, it is best to take a step back and wait until that person is more able and willing to accept what we have to say. After all, in yesterday’s Gospel, Our Lord told us that “no one can come to Me unless the Father draw him” (John 6:44). We must understand that we are not the ones who do the converting, God does that. We can plant seeds in the minds of those we encounter, but God does the rest.
Jesus did say that we must undergo persecutions and trials, which may include the loss of those close to us at times; however, this is when we are standing up for the faith and trying to thwart attacks against it. When we are evangelizing someone who is more open to understanding the faith but may be at a difficult point in their life, e.g. losing someone close to them, we need to be more open and understanding and not necessarily force anything upon them that they might not be ready to receive. If they still pray to God but feel hurt or angry because of the situation, encourage them to keep praying because it keeps them close to God and their prayer, if conducted properly, will lead them to understanding and deeper love for Him. It’s good to remind them that God loves them and is there for them, but if they resist that’s when you should just back away and pray for them, leaving the rest up to God and trusting that He will lead them back to greater love and trust in Him through their prayer. Accompanying them in your own prayer and continuing to be there for them when they are ready to talk is pleasing to God and shows that you really are wanting to evangelize and that you want God to do the work through you rather than doing it through your own efforts.
Wanting to bring people to the truth of the Gospel and into the fold of the Church is a noble goal, but we must go about it the right way and be patient. If wanting things to be done our way and on our time is an issue for us, we can ask God for the patience and humility to know that we are not the ones who ultimately bring people to conversion and so it does not happen in our time, but in God's. Sadly, not all people will accept our efforts but that is not ultimately on us as long as we do make the effort and remain faithful to God’s Word. If we do this, we will receive our reward for our efforts and prayers for others in heaven.