Dear friends in Christ,
Blessings to you on your Lenten journey! In the Gospels we have heard in recent Sundays, wesee how Jesus does not dwell among the powerful, the proud, or those in high places, but instead chooses to be among the excluded, the voiceless, the sick, and the suffering. Jesus chose to include those on the margins of society. He drinks with the Samaritan woman, forgives and heals the man born blind, and shares his ministry with those who deny him. We are faced with many opportunities to choose the path of Christ and walk on the margins and love as he loves.
Development and Peace Caritas Canada has been choosing to accompany those on the margins for 55 years. Our partners remind us to stand with those suffering from systemic poverty, environmental degradation, and indifference.
This year, for Solidarity Sunday, we are invited to support a new campaign, Create Hope: Stand for the Land. At the heart of this campaign is a call from the Prophet Micah, “to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly before our God.”
This Lent, I heartily encourage you to learn more about the needs, experiences, and success of some of our partners by reading materials in your parishes, or by going to the website. When you support Development and Peace, these people become your partners as well. Carry these stories in your heart, and pray for our partners and the life-saving work they do.
In Colombia, the ACA (Association Campesina de Antioquia) empowers everyday people to exercise their rights and protect their land. They promote ecological sustainability and holistic public policy by utilizing the concept of buen vivir (living well), demonstrating the unique beauty and strength of their Indigenous way of life and sharing this with others.
In Honduras, ERIC (Equipo de Reflexión y Comunicatión), works to document land and human rights abuses. They then help to defend those affected, with legal counsel. They broadcast information on public radio to increase awareness about human rights violations, thus promoting justice and freedom of expression.
Development and Peace Caritas Canada has 66 active partners in 40 countries, affecting change for thousands of people. Today I am encouraging you to support their life-saving missions by making a donation to the Share Lent campaign. You can participate at your local parish through donation envelopes or online at www.devp.org/give. Also consider becoming a monthly donor. If you sign up before Pentecost (May 28th) your donation will be matched by a generous private donor for the first year of giving. This is the most powerful and direct means of supporting the many good causes at work around the world.
“You are the light of the world…. let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your God the Creator in heaven.” – Mathew 5:14-16
May God bless you as you continue your Lenten journey,
+ Don Bolen
“What does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”