This was the theme of a Catholic conference I recently attended. It seems like a simple answer but one that is worthy of deep prayer and contemplation, especially in today’s world. The keynote speaker asked us to reflect on this question and noted that many see Jesus only as a personality but not as an actual living person. As I prayed and reflected upon this in light of all the things going on in our world today, I couldn’t help but be reminded that the devil seeks to divide; yet, our living God seeks communion with us. It appears we’re being saturated with arguments, division and discord, whether it be about politics, the coronavirus, masks, or vaccines and mandates. My friends, let us not forget that there is far more to life than what divides us. Let us be reminded that, first and foremost, our lives should be directed toward God’s Heavenly Kingdom.
Lately, a line repeatedly keeps coming to me in prayer, “We need to talk about Jesus!!!” I have realized this to be a call and mission sent by God for these times. There is an urgency to this call, so I don’t take it lightly. It has caused me to reflect and ask myself a few questions, “Who do you say that I am? Why don’t we talk about Jesus more often? Is Jesus the first Person we turn to or is He our last resort? Do we invite others to know this Person, the One whom we call Savior and Friend? Do we really trust that HE is the Way, the Truth and the Life? Do we really trust that HE is the remedy for ALL that ails us?” If our answer is “Yes!” then we, the baptized, have a sacred duty and responsibility to preach from the rooftops, that Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is ALIVE! Please don’t rely on the bishops, priests and religious to do the heavy lifting. We, the laity, must speak His Holy Name in a world that so desperately needs to know the King of Kings!
I challenge each of you to prayerfully and honestly, from the depths of your hearts, answer this question. Who do you say that I Am? Is Jesus more than a personality in a book or in a movie, or is He truly, the One, sent by God the Father, who is the remedy for all division and destruction? God has placed people in our lives for a reason. If God has given you the gift of faith, then for His sake and for the sake of the Kingdom, share it with others! Talk about Jesus! Bring Him to the public square and tell others about Him! Be a witness to our Living God, the Person of Jesus, who quietly and humbly walked among us, but is so very often forgotten.
One of my dear friends, who really loves Jesus, evangelizes everywhere she goes, in both word and deed. Even while her husband, in hospice care, lay dying in the next room, she was evangelizing the young teenage delivery boy at her front door. The conversations usually start off simple, but are almost always injected with humor as she readily uses this wonderful gift, given to her by God, to make others smile! This simple conversation often leads to that person leaving her presence with a crucifix, a prayer card, or a holy medal, but always with an assurance of prayers. Evangelization doesn’t take a PhD or a fancy formula, it simply takes love – love of Jesus and love of neighbor – and occasionally a little bit of courage.
Another dear friend of mine often says: “Satan knows our names but calls us by our sins. Jesus knows our sins but calls us by our names and calls us friends.” My friends, turn off the news that breeds division and discord and surrender to the One who simply invites us to Trust Him. “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.” (Psalm 33)
Colleen M. Donohoe grew up as a cradle Catholic attending Catholic elementary and high school just North of Boston! Among her many role models in the faith are her beloved parents who this year celebrate 64 years of marriage! Colleen’s older brother, Stephen Donohoe, is an Archdiocesan priest serving as Pastor at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Norwood, MA. Colleen answered God’s call to serve the Church in a variety of ways over the past 23 years but primarily in service to God as an educator in many Catholic schools throughout the Archdiocese of Boston. After spending many years in the classroom as a theology teacher and campus minister, she currently serves as the Associate Superintendent of Catholic Identity and Respect Life Educator for the Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Office. In addition, Colleen is the Boston area scheduling coordinator for international chastity and theology of the body speakers. Colleen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Salem State College and a Master of Arts Degree in Theology and Ministry from St. John’s Seminary Theological Institute in Boston.