Happy New Year! As we enter a new year, it is a good time to reflect on the past year and to look with hope into the new year. The grace we have been given by Jesus Christ is our hope! But the grace given by Jesus Christ must also be our identity – so much so that we identify ourselves in personalmanner completely with Him. That is, what we do and do not do is intimately connected to Him on a daily basis. I recently read a wonderful article about this idea and I share it with you this weekend:
Vatican City, Nov 13, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News).- “Cardinal Robert Sarah has stressed the link between charity and preaching the Gospel, saying that while the practical needs of the poor are important, Christians can give something more essential: Jesus Christ.
Cardinal Sarah, citing Benedict XVI, told CNA that “charity is very linked with the proclamation of the Gospel, and doing charity is not only giving food, giving material things, but giving God too. Because the main lack of man is not having God.”
The cardinal heads the Holy See’s Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which oversees Catholic charitable organizations and humanitarian relief agencies. He offered his comments during
the leadership forum for the new confederation Caritas In Veritate International, held Nov. 4-9 in Rome.
The confederation is inspired by Benedict's encyclicals “Deus Caritas Est” and “Caritas in Veritate.” The organization is made up of several Catholic communities, international groups and charitable institutions which are involved in missions in 80 countries throughout the world.
Cardinal Sarah addressed the conference about “Caritas in Veritate.” The cardinal explained that the worst discrimination against the poor is not refusing to give them food, but
rather to give them only food and refuse to give them the Gospel.
“It’s very important to express that the hunger we are suffering today is not having God in our life, in our society,” the cardinal said Nov. 7. He explained that Benedict XVI’s encyclical
insists that charity is the way we express our Faith.
Although giving food is necessary, “the main food is God.” He recounted a story from one of his two trips to Syria to visit refugees.
He met a small child who asked him: “does God really exist? Why did he let my father be killed?”
This child had everything, the cardinal observed, including food and medicine, but still lacked the most essential thing, which is the assurance that God exists and is close to him. “(So) charity today is not only to act for social work, for material assistance, but really to bring the Gospel to the people.””
Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of God, St. Joseph, St. Michael and St. Paul, may God bless us with an increase in the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives during 2015!