For a full copy of the Newsletter please click on the link: Ordinary Time 23rd Sunday 100917
Annual Catholic Campaign. In the Gospel we’ve just heard, Jesus says that where two or three are gathered in His name, He is there in the midst of them. Well, we gather today in large numbers, so we can be sure that He’s here in our midst. The one who rose from death and returned to the Father hasn’t left us orphans. He’s with us in an infinite number of ways, and He sends us out to be with the world, as He is with us.
In sending us out on mission, Jesus gives us a precise task – to bind and loose, as we’ve heard in the Gospel. But that doesn’t mean that we’re expected to lay down the law and punish anyone who dares infringe. We’re not sent out as the law-makers and law-enforcers of the world. Jesus says that whatever we bind or loose on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven. Dangerous words those – especially if we forget that, here on earth, we have to bind and loose as heaven commands. Only then will our binding and loosing be confirmed by God. If there’s a dissonance between our binding and loosing and heaven’s, then all we’re left with on earth is a destructive authoritarianism, which is at war with heaven.
So what kind of binding and loosing does heaven command? Jesus provides the answer. We are called to bind whatever diminishes and finally destroys the human being – fear, injustice, violence, despair; and we are called to loose whatever makes us more human, more like Jesus, more like God – love, justice, peace, hope. That’s the whole purpose of the Church. That’s why Jesus has called us to be His disciples and to go out into the world in His name.
This has to mean not just words but action – many different kinds of action. That’s what the Annual Catholic Campaign is about – binding and loosing in the name and in the power of Jesus Christ. It’s our yearly appeal in support some of the key works of the Church – the Priests Foundation, to support retired priests who have borne the heat of the day, the Mary MacKillop School Access Fund, to assist children whose families are struggling to afford a Catholic education, Centacare’s Pastoral Ministries, which serve the neediest of the needy, and Holy Spirit Seminary, which is preparing the priests of the future. Now each of these works is part of the Church’s drive to bind the forces that diminish and destroy and to loose the forces that liberate and give life.
You can support the Catholic Campaign in various ways. One of the best is a regular monthly gift of an amount that means something to you; so you might think about that. But however you choose to support the Campaign one thing is clear: your gift will be the answer to someone’s prayers. Jesus says in the Gospel that “where two of you ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by My Father in heaven”. How many prayers rise to God each day, each hour of each day, from broken hearts and needy lives? So many cries of desperation and the Father hears them all. He not only hears but He answers – and we are part of the answering. So when I ask you to be generous today, I’m asking in the name of an infinitely generous God and in the name of genuinely needy people whose prayers God hears and wants to answer – but through us. Our generosity will be the answer to their prayers.
Thank you for your generosity.
Most Rev Mark Coleridge
Archbishop of Brisbane