I’d like to share with you my homily from this morning at Saint Joseph Church in Beirut.
We feel at home here in Lebanon, a country that has been so hospitable to people from all over the world. We see people from all over the Church universal and feel at home because we know we are members of a family that extends to every continent and every language.
Thanks for tuning in! I’m joined by Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver and Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre. We’ve had a full day here in Lebanon, representing the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA).
This is really what we came to see: the good work that you, the Catholic people of good will in the United States, are doing for the people in need here in Lebanon. Thanks be to God for organizations like CNEWA, Catholic Relief Services, Aid to the Church in Need, and wonderful people like the Good Shepherd Sisters, who in the name of Jesus care for these suffering people. Never underestimate the wonderful zeal, love, and charity of our religious women. Thanks for your support, and for being with us on our journey to Lebanon.
Do we have a young Church or an old Church? That’s a question we pastors ask a lot. The answer here in Lebanon is a young, vibrant Church, with old, deep roots in a tradition that goes back to Jesus and His apostles. We love the past, we love the present, and we’re oriented towards the future as well, when Jesus will come again and, God willing, we will enjoy eternal life with Him in Heaven.
Thanks for keeping us company on our journey in Lebanon! We’re now in Zahlé, where we are visiting the Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Zahlé, the Most Reverend Archbishop Issam John Darwich. Faith and Charity. Prayer and Work. It’s all part of the magnificent Melkite tradition here in Lebanon, and part of ours as well!
It’s been another great day everybody! Thanks for checking in. We started the day at the Melkite Catholic Cathedral, then visited the magnificent School of Saint Rita. From there we went to a soup kitchen and a refugee camp. Once again I leave so grateful for the work that the Church does, and thank you for your support of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, so visible here in Lebanon.
Wednesday morning here in Beirut. Lebanon is an example to the whole world of how when different ethnic groups and different religions work together, there can be peace and stability. I would love for you to be able to see what we are seeing here… the freshness, the vigor, the youth, the vitality of the Christian faith that gives the refugees here hope, what the Church is doing to help, and the longing of these people.
Thank you for your interest and your attention. You’ve been good company, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this little pilgrimage to Lebanon as much as we have. You know what comes to mind? Good Friday and Easter Sunday. There’s a lot of suffering here, the tears of refugees and the memories of war. But there’s also hope, confidence, joy, and life! God bless Lebanon, God bless America, and God bless the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. See you back home!
Link to Cardinal’s Blog, where all the above entries and videos can be found: http://cardinaldolan.org/index.php/category/blog/