The Annual Catholic Campaign is here
The Annual Catholic Campaign is the one time every year that all of the parishes in the Archdiocese come together to help vital works of our church and the local community, which include supporting the training of our future priests, caring for our elderly, and supporting families impacted by domestic violence, to name a few.
The woman in today’s Gospel wasn’t Jewish; she was pagan. No wonder Jesus responded to her as he did in a world where Jews didn’t have dealings with pagans and men didn’t have dealings with women.
He starts by giving her the silent treatment; then he says to others, “It isn’t right to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs”; and finally he replies to her, “Woman, you have great faith. Let it be done as you wish”. That’s where the popular perception is turned on its head. She’s an outsider, but what matters to Jesus, in the end, is not that she’s an outsider but that she’s a human being in great need who happens to have great faith.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of having a care for justice, by which he means right relationship between God and the human being and between human beings. Tribalism of any kind, the world of “us and them”, is never right relationship. It’s always wrong. That’s why the prophet has God saying that he will bring even foreigners to his holy mountain and that his house will be called “a house of prayer for all people”.
St Paul too speaks of himself as an apostle sent to the pagans, the outsiders to whom God now extends his mercy, the mercy offered not just to insiders but to all humankind, he says. This radical inclusiveness has its roots in the mercy of God. All have been disobedient, says, Paul, but all have been offered mercy in Jesus. This is the right relationship of God: it takes what is wrong and sets it aright.
This too is the heart of the Annual Catholic Campaign. The Campaign is one very concrete sign of the mercy of God at work, entering the world of wrong relationship and setting it aright, breaking down the walls of “us and them” and building bridges so that all people, but especially those most in need, can take their place in the house of God.
That mercy flows from Jesus but through us. It’s our faith which opens a door into the lives of people in need, and through that door, in mysterious and even hidden ways, comes the healing power of the Risen Lord, for whom there is no wound that cannot be healed, no torment that cannot be calmed.
We come in faith, knowing that he listens and responds to real human need. We’re well aware of our powerlessness but we know his power. We also know that he responds through our generosity. Your donation, whatever it may be, allows the Lord’s mercy to flow through the Church into the lives of needy human beings.
The woman in today’s Gospel saw the face of a Jewish rabbi but she saw more: she saw the face of God. If we open the door of faith and allow God’s mercy to flow through us into the lives of those in need, people will see in the Church and in each of us the face of Christ himself. That’s what the Annual Catholic Campaign is all about.
Please help us raise funds this weekend to support vital ministries that directly impact our parish.