Third Sunday in Ordinari Time (Archbishop's Appel 2010)

Did you hear what the gospel just said about Jesus? Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit[1]. People kept coming to Him from everywhere. People kept coming to Jesus for teaching, for healing, for salvation, for meaning. And people still come to Jesus: alive in His Church, as the Church continues to teach, serve, and sanctify in His all-powerful holy name[2].

My brother, my sister…I'm going to cut-to-the chase here and not drag this out. You know what we priests always talk to you about this time of the year: the Archbishop’s Appeal[3].

Believe me: I do not enjoy talking about money. The Church is not about money at all: the Church is all about Jesus, His teaching, His healing, His mercy, His sacraments, His mother, His saints, His sick, His poor, His hungry, His children. The Church is still all about truth, life, eternal salvation, conversion of hearts and souls. However to be all about that takes resources: time, talent, and treasure of our good people.

So, I do not relish it, but I do not apologize for it: I come before you as the other pastors did in the past years and other noble Catholic causes, to ask. Today I ask you to be generous to the 2010 Archbishop’s Appeal; our goal is $33, 758 dollars… Where it goes? Good question! The Archbishop’s Appeal provides tuition assistance for Catholic school students; key funding for Catholic Community Services; funding for a variety of special ministries; funding for the education of seminarians and for the care of retired priests.

Yes, I know: it is A LOT of money however it is at the same time a good challenge and a good opportunity because every dollar you give through the Archbishop’s Appeal reaches programs and charities that nourish God’s people—physically, morally and spiritually.

Hey father and how much of my donation will be used for administrative overhead? None. Your entire donation—100%—goes directly to the programs and charities that are part of the Appeal. All administrative costs are paid for by the Archdiocese.

And…Is there a minimum I need to donate? There is no minimum. All gifts are gratefully accepted and valued. The goal is for all Catholics to prayerfully consider a donation in accordance with the gifts God has given to them.

Thanks for your help last year, thank you so much. Today I'm brave to ask you to do it again. I am conscious that all of you get asked for so much already; that the economy is so scary, and there remain some reasons to be upset with the Church, however I call to your generous heart. Of course, you do not do it for me, or for yourselves, you all do it for the glory of God, and of course we are not asking just for money: we all need to find the best ways that we can serve the Lord according to our particular talent and stage in life, using those talents to win the world over for the Kingdom of God.

That is why we were created, as the old Catechism would say: to know, love and serve God in this world and to be with Him in the next.

Thank you so much for your understanding and support and let us make the 2010 Archbishop’s Appeal something special, something extraordinary, something great ■

[1] Cfr Lk 4:14.
[2] Sunday 24th January, 2010, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Readings: Nehemiah 8:2-6, 8-10. Your words, Lord, are spirit and life—Ps 18(19):8-10, 15. 1 Corinthians 12:12-30. Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21 [St Francis de Sales].
[3] What is the Archbishop’s Appeal? Once a year, the Archdiocese of San Antonio conducts an appeal to support the mission and ministry of the Archdiocese. People in all of our parishes and missions are asked to make a significant financial commitment to this important cause.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris