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  • Writer's pictureCatholic Ministries Appeal

Embracing The Power Of Encounter

Pope Francis tells us, “For me this word is very important. Encounter with others. Why? Because faith is an encounter with Jesus, and we must do what Jesus does: encounter others.”

In our modern world, it is all too easy to withdraw from others. Technology enables many of us to work from home and order food, groceries, clothing, and more, all without leaving our homes. While this is often seen as a convenience, it has also led to a decline in human interaction. Social media has given rise to "keyboard warriors," individuals who express their opinions and feelings with little more than an emoji. This digital age is eroding the art of socialization, empathy, and genuine human connection.

Reflecting on Pope Francis’ words about encountering others, it becomes clear that our increasingly isolated lifestyles are preventing us from truly encountering Jesus. We are taught that God is love and that we are created in His image, embodying this love, which is meant to be shared with others. In our busy lives, it's easy to overlook the significance of truly encountering others. We may pass by many people each day, exchange brief pleasantries, and move on with our routines. But Pope Francis challenges us to go deeper, to see these interactions not as fleeting moments, but as opportunities for genuine connection and reflection of our faith.

The love that we receive from God can only grow through our interactions with Him and with others. Now that the weather is warmer, it is the perfect time to leave the comfort of our homes and engage with others.

Pope Francis encourages us to follow in Jesus' footsteps by making every encounter meaningful. This means seeing the face of Christ in everyone we meet, whether it’s a family member, a colleague, a stranger, or someone in need. True encounters go beyond surface-level conversations. They involve listening to our hearts, showing empathy, and offering support. In our increasingly digital and fast-paced world, taking the time to genuinely connect with others can have a profound impact.

For our Catholic community, this call to encounter is a reminder of our mission. It’s a call to be present, to extend a hand, and to build relationships rooted in the love of Christ. Whether through our parish activities, volunteer efforts, or everyday interactions, each encounter is an opportunity to live out our faith in a tangible way.

As we reflect on Pope Francis’ words, let’s challenge ourselves to seek out and embrace encounters with others. Let’s make a conscious effort to slow down, to listen, and to connect. In doing so, we not only enrich our own lives but also bring the light of Christ into the lives of those we meet.

Let us pray for the grace to follow Jesus’ example and to make each encounter a testament to our faith. Together, we can create a world where love, compassion, and understanding are at the heart of every interaction.

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