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Proclaiming the Good News face to face

I just read about this amazing parish evangelization effort by a parish in St. Louis. Parishioners are trained to go door to door in their neighborhood and invite the community to join them. The thought of that sends shivers through my introverted soul. As noted by one of the parishioners:
“All four of us felt very uncomfortable going (on) cold calls, door to door. We thought, ‘Are we Jehovah’s Witnesses? Are we Mormons?’ I mean this is something Catholics typically don’t do,” 
But maybe this is exactly what Catholics should be doing. I am very comfortable sitting with my keyboard and proclaiming the Gospel with blog posts and articles. As one who does not always like to be center stage, it is a bit unnerving for me to know that my name, picture, and written words are indelibly etched on cyberspace, but except for the occasional internet stalker who tracks me down wherever I publish in order to spew ad hominem vitriol, my personal space is not breached.

The problem is that my written words are out there but easy to ignore. Think about all the links that show up in your inbox or on your Facebook wall that go unread. It is much harder to ignore a warm smile and an outstretched hand. And when I am solely focused on rearranging the electrons on my computer it is easy for me to lose sight of the humanity behind words like "the poor", "the lonely", "the sick", and "the suffering".

The solution is to look up from my computer and my cell phone and have an in-person encounter with the world around me. I must be the Face of Christ to everyone I meet and I must see the Face of Christ in them as well. It is important that I write about the value of motherhood, but it is also important for me to lend my hands and heart to another mother who is feeling burdened. My treasure is sorely needed by those in need so I must continue writing those checks to my favorite charities. But I also need to be alert to individuals who my cross my path who may not be plugged in to this or that charity. I need to keep the spiritual and corporal works of mercy at the ready so I can offer them at a moment's notice.

Like so many things, this is not an either/or paradigm, but a both/and. Sharing treasure and talent from afar is good but we also need to stretch our comfort zone and be willing to proclaim the Gospel face to face.

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