By Fr. Nick Kotsis - Growing up, I must say that I watched my fair share of television. When watching shows with my brothers, we couldn’t stand the commercials. As we grew older, we clearly understood that the point of television is to bring us commercials with some programming in between. But the thing is, I remember so many of those commercials; the jingles, the slogans, even some of the actors. Those ad people really knew what they were doing.
In particular, I remember the old AT&T commercial slogan: “Reach out and touch someone.” That one still sticks with me today because in reality, it is very appropriate to way in which Christ brings His message to us.
Think about it. Throughout the Gospels, Christ moves from place to place and is thronged by people. People were literally mobbing Him and climbing on one another trying to get close to Him. By extending His arms, He healed thousands. By placing His hands on people, He forgave their sins. By walking up the hill, He offered His most important public message (the sermon on the mount) so that He could reach as many people as possible. The woman with the flow of blood, amid the tumultuous crowd, reached out and touched Him, and was healed of her malady.
Even within the life of the Church, everything is literally “hands on,” or reaching out. Ordinations, Confessions, and prayers of healing all require the touch of a bishop or priest. A sermon is offered after the Gospel to help explain it and bring up points of reflection or teaching and to reach people in different ways.
And here we find ourselves in such an unusual situation in which we are unable to be physically present with anyone except within our household.
There are, however, two important means by which we are still able to “reach out and touch someone:” by voice and/or face. If the human touch is so vital to our existence, as all faith and science show it is, so are our words and countenances.
As we must continue to stay home and stay safe, it’s more important than ever, as Fr. Alex has written several times, to stay connected with one another by our voices and faces. Thank God we have the telephone and video chats to aid us today!
We will have to persist in this way of living for more days ahead, and for most of us, it will test our patience, make us frustrated, or even allow fear to creep into the heart. Please continue to “reach out and touch someone” with a call or video chat. Every time you call someone, your voice is prayer to God and has the potential to bring the other person the Good News of the Gospel, even if you don’t intend to in the way of a pastor! Every time you have a video conversation with someone, you bring the image of Christ before the one with whom you’re speaking!
We’ll continue to be patient, we’ll continue to recognize the work of Christ through His Passion and Resurrection (no matter what) and we’ll continue to “reach out and touch someone.”