Appeal for Caritas-Hong Kong’s annual fund-raising drive : Give Them a Ray of Hope
Come, you that are blessed by my Father! …… I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your home, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me …… I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did it for me. – (Matthew 25: 34 – 40)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), Pope Benedict XVI drew our attention to the great parable of the Last Judgement, quoted above, reminding us that the love of God and love of our neighbour have become one: in the least of the brethren we find Jesus himself, and in Jesus we find God. In the same encyclical, the pope has given us a simple definition of neighbour as Anyone who needs me and whom I can help, is my neighbour.
Caritas, as its name (in Latin: “the genuine and selfless love that a Christian should have”) implies, strives to bear witness to the world and to serve where the need is the greatest at the base of society. Some people who, through no fault of their own, may have lost confidence, feel extremely helpless, or become despondent in striving for a brighter future. All these unfortunate and disadvantaged groups are in fact, our neighbours. While fully affirming the value of helping those in sudden need or in chronic destitution, the ultimate drive of Caritas is to help people to develop themselves and to overcome the difficulties in their lives. It is here where Caritas is making every effort to help the Last, the Least and the Lost, to restore their zest for life. GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE is indeed the theme of the Caritas Fund Raising Campaign.
Although Caritas has received much financial help from the government and other funding organisations, the ever-growing demand for services, in both quantitative and qualitative terms, has made it necessary to launch a series of fund-raising activities annually to make up the shortfall. To this end, I would very much like to appeal for your generous helping hand in supporting the Caritas Fund Raising Campaign. You will surely find it reflective to read what St Paul has told us:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and who-ever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully …… or God loves a cheerful giver …… He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. – (2 Corinthians 9:6 – 10)
Everything in this mortal world will pass away in the twinkling of an eye. It is only genuine and selfless love that can last forever and ever. Sincerely yours in Christ,
+ John Tong Bishop of Hong Kong Solemnity of the Assumption 2009