Syosset, New York
Dearly Beloved in the Lord:
As Orthodox Christians we are called to do good at all times in our interaction with others. To guide us in this, Our Lord, Jesus Christ gave us examples through His parables.
One parable in particular, that of the Good Samaritan, stands out, especially during the month of November, which is designated as “Charity Month” by the Orthodox Church in America.
Almost daily, we hear about people who suffer as a result of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and unforeseen situations. At the same time, we live in a world that encourages us to look for ways to make our lives easy, to satisfy our every whim, and to focus on our own needs, often at the expense of those around us much like some of those we encounter in the parable of the Good Samaritan. We, like the Samaritan, are called upon to stop what we are doing, to make a personal sacrifice for the sake of another human being, and help those in need.
Christ calls us to emulate the Samaritan’s example by offering compassion to those whom society too often ignores. Today, as in Our Lord’s time, there are many who have no one to whom they can turn in their time of need. We are called to remember our calling as Christians to show compassion on those in need, to reject every temptation to judge them, and to freely offer assistance in the name of Jesus Christ.
In an effort to respond to Our Lord’s challenge, the annual Charity Appeal offers an opportunity to put our faith into action. Your contributions help to offset medical expenses, assist those who have lost insurance benefits due to ongoing unemployment, address dire emergencies that affect lay and clergy families alike, and meet countless other needs that most of us have never had to face personally. Together, we can offer a glimmer of “the hope that is within us” the hope that is rooted in the love of Our Lord, Jesus Christ to those who turn to us in their time of need.
Please join me in making the commitment to emulate the Good Samaritan’s example. Pray for the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, the destitute, and those in distress. And, in the spirit of the Good Samaritan, offer a tangible sign of your concern by making a prayerful and sacrificial contribution to the 2006 Charity Appeal, knowing that many individuals and families will benefit from your generosity.
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada