Help People to See the Unseen

For years at my home parish, my mother served as a religious education teacher for elementary-age kids. She rarely missed a Wednesday night of “C.C.D.,” though it’s a universal truth that most of those kids didn’t really want to be there. Many just went through the motions for their parent’s benefit, oblivious that my mom gave up one evening each week – year after year – to instruct them in the faith.

Mindful of this, Sr. Jane Anthony occasionally would encourage the dedicated catechists like my mom of another universal truth: We do not know how the Lord uses us to move hearts and minds. We shouldn’t expect to see the fruit from the seeds planted today.

We can see the work we do to share the Gospel, but the results are often unseen. Seen and unseen. As content evangelists - Catholic communicators - we try to get people to see. Love itself, truth itself, God's very Word became flesh and then died so we might have eternal life. Spreading this Good News is our mission.

We try to show how the unseen God is seen today -- in the bread and wine, in the person of a priest, in the love of neighbor and in the beauty of creation. We try to get people to see the way, the truth and the life of Jesus Christ. We show real people being Christ to others. We show the Church alive.

We use visible, tangle things -- words and images. We use print, video and now, even Twitter and Instagram.

Yet, we, too, do not always see the fruits of seeds planted. We, too, do not know how the Lord uses us to move hearts and minds.

Still, we know it happens.

Seeds do bear fruit and hearts and minds are moved toward the Lord. Our magazines, websites, apps and social media posts do move people in unseen ways that at times become seen. So we must stay energized, enthused, and open to the ways in which the Lord is asking us to evangelize, especially when it’s a struggle to tackle the challenging tasks of our work as communicators.

One of the things that keeps me going is a letter we received from a young man. He wrote that he didn't know why he was getting one of our diocesan magazines. He did not attend Church. The issues came uninvited. He wrote that he threw them away unopened month after month, year after year. However, one day, the magazine arrived and everything on the cover spoke to something he was facing in his life - an issue at work, the pain of an estrangement with a family member, a question about God. He ended his letter with: “Thank you for this magazine, it has changed me and I will see you in Church on Sunday.” A heart turned to God… now that’s something to see!