In his inaugural homily Pope Francis committed himself to “embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46).” We can do no less.
During this Holy Week, we look forward to the hope and joy that Christ’s resurrection brings to us and to our broken world. With so much global conflict and poverty before us, at times we can feel overwhelmed, but we have Christ’s compassion and love to renew us.
Last week, your e-mails and calls to your Senators’ offices to protect lifesaving poverty-focused international assistance in the Senate’s fiscal year 2014 Budget were a strong symbol of love and hope on Capitol Hill. Thanks in part to your efforts the budget passed with funding levels for poverty-focused international assistance above those of the current fiscal year! Several amendments that would have cut aid were defeated, including two that would have practically gutted U.S. international assistance. Find out how your Senators voted on these amendments here and here. Thank you for raising your voice on behalf of our brothers and sisters in need. Your voice made a difference.
As we celebrate the events of Holy Week, our thoughts naturally turn to the Holy Land. Last week we hosted CRS staff, Hanan Nasrallah, for our live webcast from Jerusalem. Steve Colecchi from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Hanan spoke about the Church’s work to pursue peace in the Holy Land. With President Obama’s recent trip to the region and his reaffirmation of the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, we are hopeful for a renewed peace process. The Church stands ready to help advance a peaceful and just solution for all of our Jewish, Christian and Muslim brothers and sisters living in Israel and Palestine. You, too, can add your voice to the call for peace. Thank President Obama for his leadership on this issue by sending your message today.
May the Peace of Christ be with you this Holy Week and throughout the Easter season,
Your Catholics Confront Global Poverty Team
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