Jesus teaches his disciples the Golden Rule in the passage we hear today. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” But he goes on to require more: “Love your enemies and do good to them…expecting nothing back.” Today let us listen for what God is calling us to do for the people in our lives, both those who treat us kindly in return and those who do not.
Every year at this time parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago participate in the Annual Catholic Appeal. This year’s Appeal continues and expands last year’s theme: Come follow me… and share the Word. Followers of Jesus continue his mission in the world, and they share his message. The Appeal enables us to share the Word in our support of schools, parishes in need, religious education programs, ministry formation, the protection of life, the promotion of peace and justice, and assistance to victims of natural disasters through Catholic Relief Services. Our 2019 goal is 6% of the previous year’s offertory income. For Fiscal Year 2017-2018, our offertory income was $297,674.00 Therefore our target for the 2019 Appeal is $17,860.44. As you know, when contributors exceed the goal, St. Bernardine will receive a rebate of 100% of the funds donated over the goal. This weekend is called a Commitment Weekend.
After the Gospel at each mass, we will play a short homily by Cardinal Cupich regarding the appeal. I will lead you in the filling out of the cards. These cards and pencils will be returned to the ushers. The mass will then continue with the profession of faith and the normal Sunday collection. If you received a pledge card in the mail, you may use that card to make your pledge.
During the following weekend of March 2nd and 3rd, those who have not had the opportunity to fill out the pledge cards will be asked to do so at all the masses.
Although Lent starts late this year, we have to think already about this season. Please bring your palms blessed on last Palm Sunday to the church upcoming weekend 3/3. These branches will be burned for new ash which we will use on Ash Wednesday.
As you know, this weekend concludes the Vatican’s sex abuse summit, which focuses on the themes of responsibility, accountability, and transparency. Let us pray for all participants of this summit, that inspired by the Holy Spirit, they may create new standards which will lead to rebuilt trust in the clergy in the Catholic Church.
God bless you,