Column: They will know we are Christians by our love

by Lesle Knop

When the priest approached youngsters at the beginning of Mass a few weeks ago, he began by asking them to answer a simple question:

“What does love mean?” The children fidgeted for a moment, as little ones do when they are stumped. Then a small, spunky girl raised her hand and said, “Love is, like, when you like someone a lot.”

Simple and oh, so sweet.

But love isn’t simply a strong emotion. Or a sentiment on a card.

Although it feels good to “really like someone,” the priest reminded the adults later in his homily, in order to truly love, “we must put love into action.”

I can think of no better way to put love into action than through a gift to the Archbishop’s Call to Share. The ministries supported by your gifts are ways to show your love.

Like many of you, members of my family have been the recipients of some of the 40-plus ministries funded by the Archbishop’s Call to Share.

My daughter and her fiancé, for example, have recently begun marriage preparation at their parish. The archdiocesan marriage and family life office, which prepares the course materials, is funded by your gifts to ACTS.

My husband, a convert to the Roman Catholic Church, was guided on his intellectual and spiritual journey by priests of our archdiocese and the remarkable program called RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, coordinated by the archdiocesan liturgy office, which also is supported by your generous gifts.

I am grateful that our gifts allow others to be Christ’s hands and feet — and my brother or sister — in the many acts of love they perform every day for those in need.

I cannot sign for the deaf and hard of hearing, but I am grateful that ACTS funds allow our deaf ministry to break open the God’s word for those who can’t hear. I am grateful for the work of Hispanic ministry, for Catholic Charities, for the pro-life office. I am grateful that the vocation office helps to counsel young men and women responding to the Holy Spirit’s call to the priesthood or religious life.

God gives us everything we need — every blessing — so that we can share his love with others. As we grow in spiritual maturity, we learn that it is indeed Christ’s love alone that brings all gifts, and our lives, to perfection.

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