Approaching the end of the Church’s year with the precious space in the parish newsletter long since committed to notices about schools admissions, special Advent services and carol concerts, it was rather a tardy, hurried and speculative notion to have CAFOD’s Power to be card signing in my Parish last weekend. The issues were complex. The goal of the exercise was clear enough: it was aimed at helping poor people to gain access to electricity, but it involved asking the World Bank, which was already doing this, to change its policy so that the overwhelmingly carbon dependent projects were replaced by power production through solar and other renewable schemes. And we also had to announce that we were handing out CAFOD World gift catalogues that weekend too! Would that be too much even for our CAFOD- friendly priests to announce in the notices? Would it be lost on the people?
No. Not at all.
The Gospel was the Matthew’s account of the parable of the talents, encouraging us to be active and use our energies even if that involved taking a risk. The Pope, the author of Laudato Si, had designated it the first world day of the poor, a meet occasion for putting love into action. More than four hundred people clustered round the tables in the porch to sign the cards, assisted by our brilliant confirmation candidates who also made sure that all who wanted the gifts catalogue had it.
Next Sunday’s parable is about the sheep and the goats at the Last Judgment, reminding us that we will be weighed in the balance not on our prayers, penances, or piety but whether we reached out to those in need. Another very good day to have a “Power to Be” card-signing?
Further details about the Power to Be Campaign can be found here.
By Michael Walsh