“Dear brothers and sisters,” Pope Francis told Catholics in Rome last week. “The Church loves you! Be an active presence in the community, as living cells, as living stones.”
The Holy Father’s exhortation expresses the mandate of Christianity given by Jesus Christ—that the Church must be actively present and alive in the world, to proclaim and witness to the Gospel. Our active life—our life of charity and evangelization—builds the kingdom of God by inviting others to come to know Jesus Christ.
But the kingdom of God is not like earthly cities. God’s kingdom is not a place or a program or institution. In 1990, Blessed John Paul II explained that “the kingdom of God is … a person, with the face and name of Jesus of Nazareth, the image of the invisible God.”
At the center of all that we do as a Church is the divine person of Jesus—he who is true God and true man. He is the reason for our schools, the reason for our shelters and food banks, the reason for our seminary. Jesus Christ is the reason I serve as your archbishop.
All that we do is to bring Jesus Christ to the world—that they might encounter him and be transformed. Our witness, as St. Paul says, is “faith working through love.” As the Father sent Jesus into the world to reveal his love for the world, so too does Jesus send us into the world to reveal his love for the world.
We share the responsibility to proclaim Christ, and to witness to his love. We should do this in the witness of our lives and families, but we should also do this through our support to the Church herself. The programs and apostolates of the Archdiocese of Denver—those which proclaim Christ—belong to all of us. They are the fruit of our faith, and the manifestation of our Christian love.
Over the past few weeks, you’ve been invited in your parishes to support the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal. The appeal supports the very good work of our archdiocesan offices. The appeal supports our worship and sacramental life. It supports our schools and many works of charity. The appeal supports our work to build up God’s kingdom.
There are many ways to commit to support the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal. Your family can pray about a monthly contribution or a one-time gift. And you can support through prayer as well.
The Church, and Jesus Christ, loves you. And she wishes to proclaim that love to world. Please join us in sharing with Colorado the enduring love of Jesus Christ.