Thursday, February 18, 2021

Share Lent 2021

Written by  Michael LeBlanc

It’s probably one of my favorite paintings. To me it embodies the gift of self and call to service of each individual Christian, showing up for work in “God’s vineyard”. In my own opinion it pairs most excellently with my favorite hymn:

“I, the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry...
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?”

And the refrain:

“Here I am, Lord...
I will hold Your people in my heart.”

 It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 365 days since we had our first case of Covid-19 in Saskatchewan. About a year ago Costco’s parking lot was full, we were all buying masks for the first time, and many of us were saying good-bye to in-person visits with loved ones. By all accounts, this year should have been a total loss.

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

- Jeremiah 29:11

Yet, in the midst of a pandemic many of us voted in four elections (provincial, municipal, mayoral, and school board of trustees). One federal party had a leadership convention. Canadians together contributed $17.9 million to the people of Lebanon when a major explosion destroyed their food supply. On a more local note, my roommate pushed out over a dozen cars up and down our street when we had that massive snowfall. And as a faith community, we learned to worship together, pray together, learn together, give together -- separately.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
- Matthew 18:20

So was 2020/2021 a good year, or a bad year? The good news is we get to choose what and whom we remember. I hardly remember voting in our elections, but I remember hearing about the coup d’etat in Burma deposing the democratically elected government, whose people 54 million people no longer have a vote that is fair or free. This past year we might have seen someone enter a grocery store without the consideration of wearing a mask. I don’t remember any of these times exactly but I do remember hearing that Development and Peace’s partner in Bangladesh helped thousands of the Rohingya people from Burma  with emergency infection control products to try to stave off the worst of the pandemic. There are almost 80 million displaced people in the world, who struggled to find the daily necessities of food, water, and shelter. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, they, still not receiving any form of basic medical care, also need basic sanitation and safety equipment.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”
- Isaiah 6:8

Now, let’s be clear here: God is not calling us to be a Rambo to go on a one-man mission lone wolf mission. In fact, I am about to share with you three ways to get involved with the Church’s mission without even having to leave your couch. Still, God calls, and Isaiah responds, and he responds for the rest of us. Because we are still here, and God is still God. Our gift doesn’t have to be large - God fed the multitude with just 5 loaves and 2 fish - it just has to be from the heart.

“And they did all eat, and were filled”
- Mathew 14:20


Credit

So what are those three easy ways to help out? The first is to look at your budget and pull $25 from that budget and give it to any of Development and Peace, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, or any charity helping look after the dignity of the poor and marginalised in their time of need. $25 is the price of a good bottle of wine or a really bad haircut. While you might still need the bottle of wine depending on how things go in the next few weeks, the really bad haircut can wait till the end of lent since it’s cold out and you can just wear a toque, even indoors.


The second is to drop in on any of the presentations the Development and Peace’s partners are putting on a weekly basis. This is a bit of a new thing this year and it is going to be awesome. These are direction conversations with the “boots on the ground”, the people who are doing daily work with our partners. They are listed below.  Come listen to any of the three webinars on zoom:

Week 1 “The mission of Development and Peace and Catholic Social Teaching” at 12:00 pm CST on Saturday, February 20th, with Father Jean Patrick Ngoyi, long time Partner from Nigeria.

Week 2 “Humanitarian intervention - realities on the ground” at 10:00 am CST on Saturday, February 27th, with Abdullah Fuad, representative of Development and Peace's partner Caritas Bangladesh.

Week 3 “Change structures and promote community development through partnership” at 6:00 pm CST on Tuesday, March 2nd with Jose Mario Lopez from Honduras.

Each of the video discussions will be recorded for later viewing and sharing. Speaking of sharing…

The third way is to mention in one conversation this lent any of the challenges, goals, or successes of the developing world. This should be easy after viewing any of the above conversations! You can share it over video calls, with neighbours, or on social media with the click of a button: share the good news with your friends and family about what the Church is doing today!

Unsure of how to get started on those three things ($25, sign up for a session, and share what you learn)? You can always send me an email or leave a comment on my video or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I look forward to hearing from your and seeing how this year’s campaign impacts your life! God Bless!



((Watch the announcement video here))

Read 658 times Last modified on Thursday, February 18, 2021