To be a faithful Christian it is essential that we are as committed to the way of Jesus, as we are to the truth proclaimed by Jesus, said Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, at the liturgical launch of his 2021 LifeLink Christmas Appeal for Parish Priests and Parish Appeal representatives.
Joining him for the occasion at St Mary’s Cathedral on Tuesday 2 November was LifeLink Chairperson, Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, Vicar General, the Very Rev Fr Peter Whitely VG, Vicar for Clergy, Fr Brian McKenna and Vicar for Education and Adult Faith Formation, Fr Vincent Glynn.
More than 140 parish priests, special guests and parish representatives from across the Archdiocese were also present for the occasion.
The LifeLink Christmas Appeal is the only fundraising conducted in parishes each year to help financially support the vitally important work of the Church’s social outreach agencies in this Archdiocese.
The 2021 LifeLink Christmas Appeal will be officially launched in parishes this weekend, Saturday 13 November and Sunday 14 November.
With more than 37,000 Western Australian families and individuals struggling in the community who reaching out to LifeLink agencies for help each year, the aim is to raise a minimum of $650,000.
In his speech for the occasion, Archbishop Costelloe emphasised that we need disciples who are faithful and faith filled.
“This has always been what God is asking of us as members of his Church,” Archbishop Costelloe explained.
“The challenge comes in delving more deeply into the question of what being faithful actually looks like and what being faith-filled actually looks like.”
To be a faithful Christian, continued Archbishop Costelloe, it is essential that we are as committed to the way of Jesus as we are to the truth proclaimed by Jesus.
“And the way of Jesus is found primarily in an ever-deepening understanding of the way Jesus acts when he encounters people in the many and varied concrete realities of their own situations.”
Archbishop Costelloe emphasised that the Christmas LifeLink Appeal is an invitation to two things.
“Firstly, and most importantly, it is an invitation to each of us to recognise that it is our encounters with those in need, our presence to them, will be life changing for them, irrespective of how much or how little financial assistance we can offer them,” he said.
“This is true of everybody who seeks to walk in the way of Jesus.”
But, said Archbishop Costelloe, each person’s capacity and opportunity to engage directly with those in need depends on that person’s own unique situation.
“The support of our LifeLink agencies is a second and very significant way in which we can support those who, in a very real sense on our behalf, do encounter in very real and concrete ways, those in our society who are lost, or lonely, or despairing.
“It is those who work in our LifeLink agencies who, on our behalf, look into the eyes of those in need with the compassion, the understanding and the acceptance of Jesus, who does not seek to condemn or to blame, but only to encourage, to support, to lift up and to accompany on the journey to a more hope-filled future,” Archbishop Costelloe highlighted.
We must, exclaimed Archbishop Costelloe, live by the truth of Jesus, and as we do so we must also walk in the way of Jesus.
“Holding these two things together we will become what we are supposed to be: signs and bearers of the new life which is the Lord’s gift to everyone. ‘I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life,’ said Jesus. It is through us that he seeks to be this in the Church and in our society still today,” he said.
LifeLink Manager Brett Mendez told The Record that without the enthusiastic and generous support of parish priests and parishioners, this appeal would simply not be possible.
“More than 60 per cent of the funding which the Archdiocese provides for our social outreach agencies each year is provided through the gifts made to the Christmas Appeal,” Mr Mendez said.
“It is fitting that we celebrate Pope Francis “World Day of the Poor” on our appeal launch weekend.
For more information or to donate, go to www.lifelink.com.au