The Gospel story this Sunday is about a man who was suffering from the terrible disease of leprosy (Mark 1:40-45). His physical appearance was very unattractive, yet he did not let that stop him from approaching Jesus. He humbly knelt before Jesus and asked him to make him clean. The Gospel says that Jesus was “moved with pity” and he cured the man.
The man with leprosy did what many of us do not do, he approached Jesus when he was not presentable. Somehow, we think God will take us only if our house is clean or our clothes are right. The good news is that Jesus does some of his best work when we are at our worst. His healing hand is not waiting for us to get better, it is there to make us better. His loving care is not withheld until we are able to love in return, it is there helping us to love. His forgiveness is not postponed until we are sure we will not sin again, it is given so that we can get a fresh start. His strength is not depending on us to get strong. It is there to help us be strong.
This is our commitment weekend for the annual Diocese of Orange Pastoral Services Appeal. This appeal which raises money for the support of our diocesan ministries and our parish, reminds us that the work of the Church is about extending the healing hand of Jesus to each other and to the world. Most of us financially support the parish on a regular basis. This campaign invites us to look beyond our parish to the work of the diocese which brings the loving care of Jesus far beyond our parish boundaries. It also enables us to raise some much needed funds for the support of the parish. As you may know, every dollar raised over our goal of $156,000.00 is returned to the parish.
As we have said, the theme of this year’s campaign is Our Faith, Our Future. During these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we are diligent in our efforts to bring our beautiful Catholic faith into the future. It is our unity as a Church that brings the presence of Jesus most powerfully to the world. Our united efforts in contributing to the 2021 Pastoral Services Appeal will enable us to reach further and further in touching lives with Jesus’ healing love.
Jesus is waiting to do some of his best work with our sometimes unpresentable selves. Thank you for your generosity in helping that work to happen.
Together in faith,
Very Rev. Christopher Smith, Rector