Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: Christ is Risen!
''We must start to meet: people must meet people; we are all human beings. Before being Christians or Jews or Muslims, before being Americans or Russians or Africans, before being generals or priests, rabbis or imams, before having visible or invisible disabilities, we are all human beings with hearts capable of loving."
It seems to me that these words from this year's winner of the Templeton Prize given to one who ''has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works" sums up what it means to follow the teaching and example of Christ. After all, Jesus did not discriminate between people, nor should we. Love never discriminates; it is freely shared with all.
St. Augustine wrote, ''Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you. That is every day and everyone.
This year's prize winner is Jean Vanier, the man who founded L' Arche International, a global network of residential communities where people with and without disabilities live and share their lives with one another. From the humble beginning in 1964 when Vanier asked two disabled men to live in his home a beautiful ministry has grown into 147 L'Arche communities in 35 countries with 1,500 Faith and Light groups offering support to people with disabilities, their families and friends. Such examples inspire us to follow Christ more deeply.
We have a chance this summer (June 27) to participate in a program that shares the same spirit embodied by this faithful and inspiring man. The organization is Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit Christian organization. The event will take place at St. George Cathedral in Worcester. Through it we will be able to draw closer in spirit to starving children all over the world.
The event is called "Mobile Pack" at which volunteers from all over the Commonwealth will pack 100,000 meals for needy children around the world. 500 volunteers are needed as well as donations to cover the $22,000 cost. You will be hearing more about this as the date approaches. It is my hope that St. Mary's will be well represented with volunteers and donations.
Nothing is more important than that we love one another. Love is action, love is sacrificial, love cares. Either that or it is not love.
Christ is Risen!