Archbishop’s Christmas Appeal 2022
Wednesday 2 November 2022
The Archbishop’s annual launch of his “Christmas Appeal for LifeLink” will once again coincide with “World Day of the Poor” which Pope Francis will launch on Sunday, 13 November 2022.
The theme of Pope Francis message this year is “Jesus Christ… for your sakes became poor” (cf. 2 Cor 8:9) which comes from the Apostle Paul’s address to the first Christians of Corinth in order to encourage their efforts to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters in need.
Pope Francis includes in his letter, “During his visit to Jerusalem, Paul met with Peter, James and John, who had urged him not to forget the poor. The community of Jerusalem was experiencing great hardship due to a food shortage in the country. The Apostle immediately set about organising a great collection to aid the poverty-stricken. The Christians of Corinth were very understanding and supportive. At Paul’s request, on every first day of the week they collected what they were able to save, and all proved very generous.
From that time on, every Sunday, during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, we have done the same thing, pooling our offerings so that the community can provide for the needs of the poor. It is something that Christians have always done with joy and a sense of responsibility, to ensure that none of our brothers or sisters will lack the necessities of life.
It is interesting to observe that the Apostle does not desire to oblige Christians to perform works of charity: “I do not say this as a command” (2 Cor 8:8). Paul is instead “testing the genuineness of their love” by earnestness of their concern for the poor. Certainly, Paul’s request is prompted by the need for concrete assistance; nonetheless, his desire is much more profound. He asks the Corinthians to take up the collection so that it can be a sign of love, the love shown by Jesus himself.
In a word, generosity towards the poor has its most powerful motivation in the example of the Son of God, who chose to become poor. Where the poor are concerned, it is not talk that matters; what matters is rolling up our sleeves and putting our faith into practice through a direct involvement, one that cannot be delegated.
Pope Francis ends his letter with the following wish: “May this 2022 World Day of the Poor be for us a moment of grace. May it enable us to make a personal and communal examination of conscience and to ask ourselves whether the poverty of Jesus Christ is our faithful companion in life”.
Archbishop Costelloe SDB includes in his appeal letter,
In these few words, Pope Francis simply yet effectively expresses what it takes for us to be generous, and why as an important part of the demonstration of our Faith, we are called to do so.
At a time when most households are experiencing incredible financial pressures resulting from increasing interest rates, ever escalating food and fuel prices, rising inflation and lower wages growth, thinking of the needs of others takes effort, and perhaps sacrifice.
Being generous when times are good is easy. Being called to be generous when we ourselves may be struggling is when we truly are provided an opportunity to ‘walk in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd’.
Our LifeLink agencies, in fact charities throughout Australian, are reporting an unprecedented increase in the number of people seeking support or assistance in one form or another. Many of these calls for help are from those who may never have experienced ‘real need’ before themselves.
Young families unable to provide sufficient food for the family or to pay electricity accounts as wages are swallowed up by increased mortgage or rental costs. Elderly pensioners unable to afford the basic food needs or to buy prescribed medications.
People already struggling below the poverty line, falling even further into crisis.
37,000 Western Australian families and individuals will reach out to LifeLink for help this year.
My annual Christmas Appeal for LifeLink is the only occasion I take each year to directly ask you – our parishes, parishioners and members of the Western Australian community – to help support the important work of the Church’s welfare and social service agencies in this Archdiocese.
Today, I invite and urge you to join with me. Let us “roll up our sleeves and put our faith into practice” to raise a minimum of $650,000 for our brothers and sisters in need this Christmas.
Please give generously to my appeal”.