I remember these ads. And I remember what a heartwarming feeling they conveyed. There's some good marketing there; tapping into the humanity of the consumer. Our longing for connection, for communion and for intimacy.
"Reach out and touch someone."
Today, living in such a hyper-sexualized culture as we do, with sarcasm and cynicism always a hairs breadth away, a phrase like that has a whole different feel to it. But honestly, the Pharisees in Jesus's time had their own converse fears about touching others.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus said to them in reply, "Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners."
- Luke 5:31-32
So here we are, caught between two extremes. Touch without even knowing a person (an anonymous culture of sexual encounter) or never touch because of the KIND of person they are.
What does Jesus do? He touches the heart and soul of every person. And so should we in our love and charity.
"At the end of time, those who will be allowed to contemplate the glorified flesh of Christ are only those who were not embarrassed to touch the flesh of their injured and excluded brothers and sisters."
- Pope Francis