My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Who has a compassionate heart?
If we have the heart for God, then our heart is compassionate. God seeks us to be in relationship with him and rejoices when we trust in him completely, when we turn everything over to him — all our fears, uncertainties and difficulties; all our goodness, beauty and riches. When we trust in God, we grow a compassionate heart and find hope or blessing.
The Scriptures of this sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time speak to us of trust and blessing. Jesus expresses the will of God to lead man to happiness. We are told to “Rejoice and be glad for our reward will be great in heaven.” I praise our Lord God for each one of you for you are his blessing to us. Your trust in God yields his kingdom on this earth; your faithfulness is like the tree’s fruit whose leaves never fade.
Each year I come to you with Our Catholic Appeal. The ministries supported by Our Catholic Appeal assist us greatly as I am entrusted with the care of this local church, the Diocese of Orlando. I am called to serve as teacher, sanctifier, and administrator of you, the faithful of this Diocese. I share these duties with our priests and deacons, religious sisters, and with all of you that we might produce a land that is pleasing and blessed to the Lord our God.
In the Gospel of St. Luke, we hear Jesus pray the Beatitudes. Jesus teaches us to trust in God; that as he prays, they are called blessed. He also teaches us to be as God calls us to be; to return to God what God has given to us. So, the prayer asks us to be as God the Father gave us in the example of his son, Jesus. Your support of Our Catholic Appeal is our response to this request. The ministries supported by Our Catholic Appeal are our Beatitudes of prayer. May our gifts from God for God be abundantly offered that we will see him face to face.
May the Virgin Mary, model and first fruit of the poor in spirit inasmuch as she is totally docile to the Lord’s will, help us abandon ourselves to God, rich in mercy, so that he may fill us with his gifts, especially the abundance of his forgiveness.