Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings can be expressed and exchanged in so many ways. The different styles of greetings that we learn come primarily from our cultural experience. Words, hand gestures, and other body movements show our acknowledgment of another person. Most of the time they are positive affirmations but, unfortunately, not always. Our reaction to a greeting is important as well. Again, acknowledging that person who expressed a greeting toward us.

Elizabeth’s response to the hearing of Mary’s greeting is great joy and anticipation, followed by thoughtful reflection on the source of this exchange and the greatness of God. During this pandemic we have all adjusted our greetings. Wearing masks, social distancing, Zoom meetings, and other challenges make us more aware of the importance of greetings.

The usual shaking of hands has morphed into a fist or elbow bump. Smiling at one other is more with our eyes than our mouths hidden behind masks. And we tend to dramatically wave our hands rather than extend a simple hug. These and other forms of greetings allow us to bring joy and respect to others. We are creative in our need to interact with others, and the source of our exchanges should always be the love of our neighbor.

This time of year we tend to express Christmas wishes very easily and readily. As we move past the Christmas season lets continue our greetings and well wishes. Let us make a realistic New Year’s resolution to be more welcoming in our greetings and responses to them in an effort to truly represent the Incarnation that we are preparing to celebrate.

Many people will be traveling over the next few weeks to and from visits with loved ones. Please keep the safety and health of all travelers and their families in our prayers.

Peace to you and yours!
Fr. Workman