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February 18, 2018

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Lk 12: 33)

We just started our 2018 Lenten season on Ash Wednesday.  I was glad to see many parishioners in the church for the Ash services.  Lent is the time to prepare catechumens for baptism and to help us make anew our baptismal commitments and celebrate the joy of Easter through the saving, suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

Traditionally, three things we should do during Lent: Prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  As the “Together in Action” campaign begins this Sunday I would like to focus on almsgiving and gently remind you that charity is not an option, but it is our Christian duty.  Last year our target was $59,324. We made $53,886 and were $5,438 short.  This year the target is $66,882.  It makes me worry.  Sometimes we say that we are not wealthy enough to put aside something to help others; we must have some savings for the rainy day, etc.  I have abandoned that thought since I had come in contact with the less fortunate.

When I was at St. Mary’s Cathedral, I saw hundreds of people lining up at noon no matter how cold the weather was in order to get in for a decent meal at 4 pm, the meal you and I could afford anytime.  TIA contributes into that program.  Compared to others, you and I don’t have much in life, but if you go to the Champion Centre in the morning you may see how blessed you are.  TIA supports that Centre.  Well, if you travel around the world, you may realize that our country is one of the best.  TIA shares financial resources with different international charities.

“Together in Action” (TIA) is a means to help us help others.  Our bishop, in the name of all Catholics in southern Alberta, encourages us to look after the less fortunate around us through different charitable agencies.  Catholic Charities serves the terminally ill, the elderly and homebound and the abused and the impoverished, the refugees and the hungry, the discriminated and the exploited, the addicted and the homeless, the unborn and the unwanted, the lonely and the bereaved.   As a Catholic parish, we will respond generously to the appeal of our bishop.  The needy are waiting for us.  The word of Jesus is ringing continuously in our ears: “‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.' Mt. 25: 40.