The class in Sociology in a Mid-Western University was studying what various groups and organizations were doing for the poor and needy of the world. The professor asked one of the students to prepare a paper on the topic: “CHARITY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.” Although the student was not a catholic, he asked the Newman Club chaplain what the Catholic Church was doing for the world’s poor. He was in for a big surprise. The chaplain showed him the figures for the USA. Then the priest told him about the worldwide network of Catholic Missions; the hundreds of thousands of laymen and women, sisters and priests working among all classes everywhere.
Wider and wider the student’s eyes were opened. Finally, he blurted out; “I never had an idea of all this. Why don’t you Catholics tell us about this world-wide charity?” The sad truth is that even many Catholics have no idea of the tremendous volume of charitable work performed by the family of God that Christ founded.
This Sunday’s gospel tells us that St. John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if He were really the promised Redeemer. Our Lord replied, “Go and tell John what you hear and see; the BLIND receive their SIGHT, the LAME walk, the LEPERS are cleansed, the DEAF hear, the DEAD are raised up and the POOR have the good news preached to them!” Just as these miracles were signs that Jesus was the true MESSIAH, so these are signs of the true Church founded Christ founded. Jesus still works miracles; miracles of charity through his followers. We, Catholics need to know more about what our Church is doing for the needy around the globe, not to be boastful, not to feel we have done enough but to realize that this CHARITY is a mark of Christ and definitely a mark of his Church.
We have over 700 Catholic General Hospitals in the USA with a bed capacity over 160,000. We have more than 100 orphanages and infant asylums, taking care of 16,000 children. Our social services provide for 19,000 boys and girls in foster homes. In 432 care homes we take care of 43,000 seniors. Over 100 charitable groups in our Church, like the St. Vincent de Paul Conferences help countless numbers of needy, sick, blind, deaf and retarded homeless people. Every diocese has its social services which provides material helps, marriage counselling aids to unwed mothers, financing children in foster homes and a host of essential services for the needy. Understand, this is only in USA.
The worldwide picture is almost unbelievable. Only God knows individual Catholics are doing to do away with poverty and misery. This is the official charitable work of the Catholic Church in America. Yes, CHARITY is a mark of Christ. It is a mark of His Church. And charity is a mark of every true follower of Christ, especially in this season of Love – CHRISTMAS. It is a mark of Him who died for all men. God Bless!
Key Concepts: Treasure. Why do we need to give? We need to give our money to individuals and families in need, to the Church, and to other worthwhile charitable organizations because giving money is good for the soul and because we need to return thanks to a loving God for all of the many blessings each one of us has received.
This 3rd Sunday of Advent is also called Rejoice or “Gaudete” Sunday. Our Advent preparation is already halfway over. How have your preparations gone so far? It is never too late to prepare for the coming of Jesus in our heart, let us give and do something for the Church and the poor. On the 12th we have the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and on the 13th, we have the memorial of St. Lucy and St. John of the Cross on the 14th. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. Be generous in this Coming Christmas Season.
Your Priest – Servant and Parochial Administrator,