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The Lord is my Shepherd : St. Matthew’s Gospel

Pope St. John XXIII was known to tell people that we had a “cheat sheet” for the final judgment; it is found in St. Matthew’s Gospel in the 25th chapter – today’s Gospel proclamation. How we should conduct ourselves as Christians is no mystery. Whatever else our faults may be, and whatever our sins in need of reconciliation, we can be charitable and kind to those who hunger and thirst, to those who are sick or imprisoned. (As St. Peter tells us in his epistles, love covers a multitude of sins!) However, the call of Matthew 25 isn’t directed at only the individual Christian! It is directed at the Church, corporately! Another Pope of blessed memory, Benedict XVI, reminded us that the Holy Eucharist finds its fulfilment

The Lord is my Shepherd : St. Matthew’s Gospel

when the Church goes forth from the Sacred Liturgy and puts love into action in the world! In the first reading today, the prophet Ezechiel tells us what sounds like a job description for the Church. “The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal.” That’s why we need to welcome the lost and strayed back into our churches

Call to action: This is a good time to remind your people about their end-of-year giving! Use your GC Smart Tools to send an email or direct mail to your parishioners about end-of-year giving, or to make a commitment for their giving for the coming year of 2024. It’s a best practice to let them know the impact of their giving from this past year and to thank them for their generosity with time, prayer, and financial giving! (Did you know there is research from neuroscience about what’s called “giver’s glow?” More on that later.) Finally, Advent and Christmas are great seasons for welcoming back Catholics who have slipped in their participation, or potential new Catholics who are seekers in faith. Be careful about judging the lapsed! It might be better to be curious about why they’ve been away!

Pastoral Action Points

  1. Are you ready with new, seasonal pew cards for Advent? You can find free templates for Advent pew cards in our Communication Portal. Not sure how to use it? Contact Teresa at teresa@givecentral.org or Edgar at edgar@givecentral.org
  2. Over 85% of Americans, including the elderly, now use smart phones. More Americans use smart phones than computers! Make sure your GiveCentral Smart texting phone number and GC Smart QR Codes are ready to go! Again, you can email Teresa or Edgar for more information or training!

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