“…Faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17)
St. Paul in today’s second reading describes his approach to evangelization. “I have become all things to all, to save at least some.
All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.” He meets people where they are. This is not manipulation or scheming – it is rather an imitation of the way God himself comes to meet us in Christ.
He became like us in all things, but sin. Perhaps you’ve seen the advertising campaign: “JesUS – He gets US.” It’s quite clever and effective, and it rings true. In reaching out to us where we are, God appeals to us in a way we can see and hear and understand. In making himself “all things to all people,” Paul sought to use every possible means and every situation to proclaim God’s saving love in Jesus Christ.
We do not bring God’s love into the world. God’s love created and sustains the world. But within the world, we are set as witnesses of that unfailing love, because we have received that love.
In the Gospel, Simon’s mother-in-law is healed by Jesus’ saving touch. Immediately she gets up and serves others. So it is with Paul, and with us all. God has touched our lives, and because of that we have the drive to get up and share with others what we have received.
Through the annual Catholic Faith Appeal, the Diocese of Venice seeks to imitate that evangelical zeal of Paul, patterned after the love of Christ himself, here in southwest Florida.
Through the great variety of ministries it supports – including the administrative services that assist all the parishes, schools and other Catholic institutions around the Diocese – the Catholic Faith Appeal gives us all a concrete way become “all things to all people” in order to proclaim Christ’s love.
This year’s Catholic Faith Appeal theme reminds us that our faith is meant to be put into practice. Our parish community of San Pedro has generously demonstrated that faith. The 2023 CFA was supported by over 37% of our parish families, and – along with help from the Holy Name Society (thanks to all who participate in Bingo every week!) – raised 106% of our goal.
We look forward to meeting – and exceeding – our 2024 goal of $231,000 with your continued help. As you have experienced Christ’s saving power and healing touch, know that your contribution is a vital way of sharing that healing touch, of being light and salt to others, and of putting into practice the saving gift of our faith.