This weekend is “Commitment Weekend”
for the annual Catholic Ministries Appeal.”
I’m not going to talk all about that for my whole homily.
I’m mentioning it up front to give it prominence.
All those who have envelopes for our parish
should have gotten a mailing,
and I am asking you to do what you can for this annual drive.
If you need an envelope and a pledge form,
we should have some, somewhere!
Or give our parish staff a call, and they will help.
The readings say so much about serving those around us
who are in need. What occurred to me to say is this.
Some of us are really good at the corporal works of mercy.
Making meals for neighbors,
or gathering blankets for the homeless
as our Ladies Society did recently –
this comes instinctively to some of us more than others.
What no one can say is that God is unclear in his command:
if you want God to hear your cry,
hear the cry of those who are in need or who are facing oppression!
It is totally clear.
Yet sometimes people boil Christianity down to these good works;
as if to say, it doesn’t really matter if you seek to know God.
All that matters are good works.
They’ll point to St. James who said, “faith without works is dead” –
and that’s true.
But notice St. James still mentioned faith.
So, this is a chance to examine ourselves.
Maybe you’re a go-out-and-do-stuff kind of person.
And so it might be good to look inward and ask,
how am I doing with the faith dimension?
With prayer and seeking nourishment in the sacraments?
Am I so busy doing Jesus’ bidding
that I am not paying enough attention to Jesus himself?
Then turn that around.
Are you are person who always has the Rosary nearby,
or a well-worn prayer book?
Perhaps your examination might include asking,
am I finding enough time to help others?
Am I so absorbed at Jesus’ feet,
that I forget there are others to whom Jesus sends me?
As we all know, Lent starts in about 2-1/2 weeks,
so right now is a good time to get ready.
Lent isn’t just a time to deny ourselves; it is about conversion.
I’m praying – and I hope you’ll pray with me –
that this Lent will be a powerful time for each of us to grow spiritually.