Before we embark on our Lenten journey this year, Ordinary Time gives us the opportunity to reflect on our lives and where we are called to serve. The Gospel this weekend tells us this: how we give is how we will receive. “Do to others as you would have them do to you. … Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and gifts will be given to you.” Luke 6:31, 37-38.
The Church calls us to serve those in need of spiritual, emotional, and physical nourishment. Catholic Social Teaching provides us with a basic moral test: how do we treat the most vulnerable among us. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first. Consequently, The Basilica of Saint Mary has identified homelessness, along with The Arts and Inclusivity, as one of our Strategic Areas of Focus. In undertaking this focus area, we are collaborating with other organizations to address the root causes of homelessness and reduce the prevalence of homelessness in our community.
The Homeless Jesus sculpture by Timothy Schmalz located on The Basilica Plaza reminds us both that we must serve the poor and homeless and that any of us could easily become one of those in need. During these difficult economic times, nearly 40% of people in the United States would experience significant financial hardship should their income be suddenly interrupted.
Like our community at large, The Basilica is also facing uncertain economic times. The Basilica’s year-to-date revenue is down and our expenses are up. While we are tightening our belts wherever we can, we still need your assistance. As members of The Basilica community, help us attend to the needs of the poor, and financially support our parish programs, ministries, and services. Consider a gift to the 2022 Basilica Fund whether you are participating in our community in person or through livestreaming masses and virtual programming.
If you plan to give to The Basilica regularly (weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually) in 2022, please let us know your plans. When you tell us how much you are committing to give, it allows us to budget more accurately for the year ahead. Electronic recurring gifts through your credit card or checking account mean less paper and lower administrative costs. Please give online at mary.org/give. If you have already made your 2022 gift commitment, THANK YOU!