‘Light a Fire in the Heart of the World’
‘Whakakāngia te Kāpura ki roto i te Ngākau o te Ao Tāngata’ Pope Francis
Fire purifies, warms and guides. The invitation Pope Francis presents to us as we enter the season of Lent is a reminder of the goodness we are capable of bringing into our communities and our world.
Yet the news on TV is filled with stories far from goodness: President Putin continues to bully Ukraine; unspeakable atrocities are occurring in the Middle East; serious critique of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is ignored by our Government; and the gap between the rich and the poor in New Zealand has never been greater.
How do we respond? Our faith means that we are always people of hope. Some say that’s naïve, so ours is the task to show them that our hope is real because we are people of charity, people of love in action.
Caritas is the Church’s principle agency of love in action. It is at work in over 165 countries. Many consider it the world’s most effective development agency.
Why? Perhaps because it is an expression of our Catholic faith and so is motivated not only by justice but by love: the poor, the marginalised, the exploited and the oppressed are not just recipients of our aid but are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Our Lenten envelopes support Caritas directly. I encourage everyone to pick up a pack of Lenten envelopes today.
Parents, please explain to your children why Jesus calls us to see the less fortunate as our brother and sister: in Lent, as we recall Jesus’ offering his body, his life, on the Cross for all humanity, we grow in our understanding of the sacrifices we too are called to make so that others may experience the love of God.