Setting up a Caritas office is a big deal for our diocese. Caritas – showing God’s love through our actions – is important. Pope Benedict XVI told us that our commitment to the poor and marginalised is as important as going to Mass every Sunday. That’s big! So, what are we to do?
At the Launch, Bishop Alan blessed the Caritas Commission (pictured above) and we offered our work to the Lord. We celebrated by sharing a meal with representatives from parishes across the diocese and guests from St Martin’s Housing Trust. It felt good to feed homeless people. We fed a few people, for one meal, on one day. Now we need to do so much more.
One guest commented appreciatively about how good the food was. Another said how good it was to be able to ‘be normal for a couple of hours.’ Again, this is all very good – but we can’t pat ourselves on the back and think we’re done. Now we need to do more. When Jesus fed the 5,000 He wasn’t just feeding their bodies for one meal. He was doing that, but He was also showing us how we can do likewise, in His name.
Many people are doing amazing work across the diocese supporting people in need, which is a fantastic witness of our faith. How much more could we achieve? Could we work, perhaps, with other Christian churches, or charities, or other organisations? Pope Francis encourages us to do this. Whilst we have theological or doctrinal differences, he says, one way in which we can ‘all be one’ (as Jesus prayed), is by working together for the common good.
You may have made New Year’s resolutions. You may, or may not, have kept them! As we move into this new decade, I wonder if God is asking us to make another resolution? Perhaps He is asking each of us to listen a little more closely to how the Holy Spirit is guiding us? How can we as individuals – and as a diocese – deepen our relationship with God by serving the poor and the marginalised for Him?
We will be celebrating our sharing of God’s love with our neighbours at the Caritas Festival as it travels around the diocese this year. The host parish for Norfolk is St George’s, Norwich, to be held on Saturday March 28. It will be a true celebration of all that we’re doing together to support the poor and marginalised, so we want every parish to be represented. Let’s celebrate what we’re doing – and listen to the Holy Spirit to hear what God wants us to do next.
For more details contact Jacinta Goode: firstname.lastname@example.org