Good Company Evangelizes

Mary set out in those days and traveled. (Luke 1:39)

We read about our Lady’s holy Visitation of St. Elizabeth during this season of much visitation. We wish safe journeys to everyone about to set out in haste.

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leapt in her womb.”

Of course, at this moment, supernatural grace operated, and St. John had his first interaction with Christ–womb-to-womb, so to speak.

But grace, as we know, builds on nature. Can we not imagine that the sound of the Blessed Virgin’s voice simply brought joy to the ears of her friends? That a visit from our Lady meant the pleasure of good company?

Does the sound of my voice bring joy to the people I visit? If not, is it because I nag or criticize? Is it because I never make the effort to contribute in a thoughtful manner to a decent conversation? Is it because all I ever talk about is myself?

The Blessed Mother brought Christ with her when she came to visit Elizabeth and Zechariah. She brought her love, her friendship, her affectionate care. She brought unassuming peace, patient devotion to the truth, ready attentiveness, and—I think we can imagine—a sweet sense of humor. How could she have gotten through everything she had to get through without one?

Being good company makes a pretty respectable witness to Christ. We might not be able to convince everyone to go to Mass with us. But if we are good company, we’ve got a shot at it.

Bow or Kiss?

I do not mean to stereotype. But we can take note of clear cultural differences sometimes. For instance, when you meet a Japanese person, you will likely receive a friendly bow. On the other hand, when you meet an Italian, you might wind up with wet kisses all over both sides of your neck.

As we read in Sacred Scripture, on the first Pentecost, pilgrims from all over had come to Jerusalem for the feast of Weeks.

People traveled to the Holy City seven weeks after Passover both to commemorate the giving of the Ten Commandments fifty days after the Exodus and to celebrate the reaping of the first fruits of the wheat harvest.

On this feast, the Apostles preached the Gospel in all the languages of the world, and thousands believed.

…Right before He went into the Garden of Gethsemane on Holy Thursday night, the Lord Jesus had prayed aloud, and He said:

Father, this is eternal life: to know you, the one true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.

Now, speaking of manners, perhaps it strikes us as a bit odd that the Lord Jesus would refer to Himself in the third person, using His first and last names. But before we accuse Him of pomposity, let us recall that Jesus’ ‘last’ name actually designates the mystery of His identity. Jesus Christ means Jesus the anointed.

Eternal life is to know the only true God and the ambassador upon Whose head the oil of heavenly gladness has been poured.

Continue reading “Bow or Kiss?”