Catholics making a Difference: Live the Word
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Word of God is central to our lives as Christians. Pope Francis tell us very clearly: "These are the two conditions in order to follow Jesus: to listen to the word of God, and to put it into practice. This is the Christian life – nothing more. Simple, simple.” (Homily at Daily Mass, September 23, 2014)
This “simple” idea inspires the theme of this year’s Together We Serve appeal, Live the Word. The Lord himself teaches us that the disciple is one who hears and practices his teaching, who, in other words, lives the Word of God. The Gospel is only the printed word until it transforms our day-to-day living.
By virtue of our baptism, we are missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, endowed with many gifts and talents for the service of the Gospel. In allowing our hearts to be transformed by encountering Jesus, we become more deeply missionary, oriented toward serving others.
“If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ’Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” (James 2:15-17)
As we open our hearts to the Word of God, let us ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us how we may more faithfully put it into practice. “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” (1 Peter 4:10) This means asking ourselves simple yet challenging questions. How is the Lord calling me to greater generosity? What more is the Lord asking of me? How am I using the gift of financial resources in the service of others?
Together We Serve is one way we can collectively live the Word of God. Together we can bring the Gospel message to those on the peripheries, through our gifts to Catholic Social Services, Development and Peace, Evangelization of Nations, Needs of the Church in the Holy Land, our northern twin diocese (Mackenzie-Fort Smith), and the Pope’s Pastoral Works. Together we can also help serve those who answer the call to ministry, those who are the voice of the Church in our Canadian society, and those who have dedicated their lives to the service of others, through our support of St. Joseph Seminary, St. Joseph’s College, Newman Theological College, the Needs of the Canadian Church, and St. Joseph Priest’s Foundation of Edmonton.
God provides generously. Our gifts are to be shared for the good of all and the service of others. Together this Lent, let us share generously in mercy and love. Together, let us Live the Word.
Sincerely in Christ,
✠ Most Rev. Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton
Download Archbishop Smith's Letter of Invitation (PDF)
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