15 January, 1989

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Honored Guests:

The Diocesan Office of Social Concerns is very happy to welcome you to participate today in a prayer and celebration of thanksgiving for our common faith in God’s love for each of us. We are especially happy for the consistent effort you make to express your love for God by serving the needs of others.

We make this celebration and we honor you who have been nominated by your parish leadership as people especially noteworthy for your com-passion and interest in the public ministry of the Church. We do this in the context of Jesus’ words in the gospel: Your light must shine in people’s sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.” (Matt.5:16) We believe that the love ve express in response to human needs, personal and public, is nament of God’s perduring love and the daily basis for the peace that God both promises and makes available in Christ.

This peace, as our bishops teach, is both a “gift from God and a human work”. The truth about peace being both a gift from God and n human work is made plain in the story of Jesus whose life ve celebrate as a memory of compassion for all in need. This compassion is also, by the grace of the Spirit, the self-same source of our own discipleship.

Thus, what we do today in honoring you is not an exercise in self-congratulations but an net of praise to God for continuing to bring to fruition in each of us, the good work begun in our baptism. We do this in hope that such a prayer and celebration will help us to deepen the quality and amplify the quantity of our witness, making brighter and more desirous that light by which our brothers and sisters will also give praise to Sod in heaven by their faith and good works!

Rev. Ronald J. Cioffi
Office of Social Concerns

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