Dear OSJ Family,
As we continue on our Lenten journey together as God’s Church, we continue to reflect on our traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that serve to strengthen us at this holy time of the year. This week I draw our attention to the Lenten practice of almsgiving or giving to and serving others.
It should be obvious by now, that almsgiving is simply a response by us to God, a response that we have come to through prayer and fasting. Like all service, it is an expression of our gratitude for all that God has given us, and a realization that in the Body of Christ, it is never just “me and God.” Through prayer and fasting we come to a deeper understanding that the needs of all are the responsibility of all in the Body of Christ. Works of charity and the promotion of justice are integral elements of the Christian way of life we began when we were baptized. The foundational call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels. During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on “almsgiving,” which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. All of this helps to build up a more just and loving world.
Here are just some ways that we can practice almsgiving/service to others this Lent at OSJ:
- Catholic Relief Service’s RICE BOWL
- Giving to various collections for the Church’s Mission’s worldwide
- The OSJ Lenten Justice Tree
- Volunteering with OSJ’s Faith, Food & Friends Ministry
- Visiting the sick and infirmed in their homes (The Eldership has just begin a new ministry called “Parish Home MInistry” or at Pennsylvania Hospital which the priests of OSJ serve daily.
- Supporting the Archdiocese Annual Catholic Charities Appeal
Truth is that there are countless other ways to offer your time, talent and treasure to needy individuals and organizations during Lent and throughout the year. For other ideas, visit the Archdiocesan Catholic Charities website.
Fr Phil Florio,SJ