Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Cover the Uninsured" Week

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will co-sponsor "Cover the Uninsured Week," from May 1-7, 2006. The purpose of this effort is to focus the attention of the nation on the almost 46 million Americans who lack any form of health insurance. To learn more, go here.

The bishops offer these suggested homily points for the two Sundays at the
beginning and end of Cover the Uninsured Week:
April 30
Third Sunday of Easter B

Readings: Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19; I John 2:1-5a, and Luke 24:35-48
Acting out of ignorance can lead to disastrous actions. To be of help to our brothers and sister without health insurance, we need to become informed about the question. Once informed we can unite with others and take action in both the public and private sector.

In 1 John we are told that Jesus is an “advocate.” This word comes from the Greek verb meaning to comfort, to call someone to one’s side as a helper or counselor, to speak on another’s behalf as would a defense attorney. As followers of Jesus in today’s world we are called to speak and act on behalf of those in need who have no one to intercede for them

Jesus works with his disciples whose shattered hopes needed healing. He listened to their story, instructed them and led them to the discovery of the truth. In the breaking of the bread, He revealed His presence to them. There are many in our midst who need our willingness to walk with them and give them hope. In the measure we share the pain and sorrow of our brothers and sisters we will bring Christ’s presence to them.

May 7
Fourth Sunday of Easter B

Readings: Acts 4:8 – 12; 1 John 3:1-2, and John 10: 11-18
St. Peter makes evident the saving power of Jesus Christ when he reaches out and brings healing to a crippled man. Essential to the Christian community’s mission of making Christ present in our world is a determined outreach to the sick, the poor, the heavily burdened and those in need.

As children of God, we are called to see in all our brothers and sisters the presence of God. We share a deep solidarity with all men and women. The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World notes in paragraph 11: “The people of God believes that it is led by the Spirit of the Lord who fills the whole world. Moved by that faith, it tries to discern in the events, the needs, and the longings which it shares with the other men of our time, what may be genuine signs of the presence or purpose of God.”

The Good Shepherd gives us the example of self-sacrificial service. Despite the many social challenges of our day and age, we can never give up reaching out to those in need. For the Good Shepherd every sheep was significant and important.

Albany Catholic would like to take special note of any homilist who addresses this topic. Please let us know if you hear of any.