Awhile back, Archbishop Allen Vigneron, our Archbishop, was given "kudos" by the incomparable Fr. Z. Check it out.
Then we had an article in our local Catholic paper about him doing some street evangelization. What a surprise it was to see our Archbishop standing on the corner talking to people about our faith! He's a very approachable man and I admire him greatly.
We met him a couple years ago when he came to our parish to say Mass. We had thought he was coming the next week, so when we walked into the Saturday vigil mass we were really surprised to see him up in the Sanctuary. Our son, who was 4 years old at the time, was especially impressed and asked, "Is he the shepherd?"
After that Mass we had a chance to greet him in the gathering space. Our priests introduced us to him, though we had met him previously (not that he would remember us). He got down on his knees to talk with our old son, who wants to be a priest when he grows up. It was a very precious moment; one that he still remembers and talks about.
He used to cry at Mass because he wasn't able to receive the Eucharist yet (he still isn't). He would cry because he's not old enough to be an Altar Server. He would beg to go to Catechism to talk about Jesus (he goes now though and he loves learning about Jesus). He and the girls genuflect and wave to Jesus in the Tabernacle when we get to and leave Mass saying, "Hi/Bye Jesus, I love you!" He and the girls ask if we can go see Jesus when we pass our Church. He asks if we can just stop in for a few minutes to see Jesus in the chapel whenever we are on the campus. He used to talk about Jesus so much at his daycare center, they asked him to stop (and I told him he could keep right on talking about Him as much as he wanted). He was always telling his teacher to take good care of herself because Jesus loves her very much and has special things for her to do that only she can do.
For the longest time he carried a 6-inch crucifix in his pocket when we would run errands. He took it out to hold it all the time. He would hold it up to people we'd pass in the stores and says, "do you know Jesus? He died on the cross for you because He loves you." Once, he let an older woman hold and kiss his crucifix at the grocery store and when she gave it back to him with tears in her eyes he said, "Mama, she loves my Jesus too."
While walking through the hardware super store, he shouted out to some people that were passing by, "Hey! Do you love Jesus too? He sure does love you!"
Oh to have his boldness! I don't though. Here is my 6 year old leading me in the New Evangelization. He is not shy about sharing his Jesus and his love for God with everyone he meets. His utter and sheer confidence in his faith, as elementary as it may be, forces me out of my shell. When he talks to strangers about the Lord, he'll look over at me and ask, "is Jesus happy with me for telling that man about Him?" Of course He is, son. He is thrilled to see you sharing your love for God with everyone you meet.
Maybe when Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me" He knew that the adults would follow; parents would be right behind their children. Not many people, even in today's culture, can turn away from a bright-eyed child telling them that Jesus loves them. It always makes them smile.
So in that vein, I've stepped out of my comfort zone a bit and shared a part of my faith walk with The 3:15 Project. The project is named after 1 Peter 3:15 which says, "Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope."
I hope you'll watch my video and share it with others. Go to the site and watch some of the other videos of people's testimonies. God has worked in people's lives in miraculous ways and He wants to come into your life and transform it with his love if you'll let Him.