As Christian stewards, we are called to devote a regular portion of our time to God in prayer. Perhaps we find it intimidating to find the right words when approaching our perfect and all-holy God.READ MORE
Part of the beauty of stewardship spirituality is its simplicity and practicality. It can be summed up in the simple phrase, “All I have is a gift from God and I must make a grateful return to Him for all He has given me.” So simple, that even our youngest parishioners can grasp the concept. Simple, however, does not necessarily mean easy. Simple also does not mean shallow.READ MORE
Today’s readings give us a wonderful refresher on the Biblical origins of the Sacrament of Marriage, going all the way back to the second chapter of Genesis in our First Reading, and then reinforced by Jesus in our Gospel Reading from St. Mark.
Perhaps more than any other time in Christianity, marriage and family life are under attack right now. It is vital that we have a proper understanding of the Church’s beautiful and solid teachings in these areas. We call this type of knowledge, “Formation” and it is one of the pillars of a stewardship way of life. Solid formation in the faith not only strengthens us in our own walk with the Lord, but it allows us to pass on this knowledge to others who are thirsting to know the truth about the human person, and it also arms us to defend our beliefs, when necessary.READ MORE
Our Gospel passage and the Second Reading from the letter of St. James urges us to examine our lives for anything that is keeping us from loving God above all else. Jesus says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off… If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”READ MORE
Sometimes the Sunday readings bring peace and consolation. Other times they come as a swift kick in the pants. Today’s readings definitely fall in the latter category.
In the Gospel from St. Mark, Jesus begins to instruct the Apostles in what was ahead for Him – and for them. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” In Peter’s worldly way of thinking, Jesus should not have to suffer — and for that matter, neither should Peter.READ MORE
Today’s readings offer beautiful illustrations of two of the “Four Pillars of Parish Stewardship” — hospitality and service — and the joy that a life lived for others can bring.
Our second reading, from the letter of St. James, teaches that all are equally worthy of our hospitality. We must welcome and serve everyone who walks through our church’s doors, extending warmth and a dignified greeting to all. The person who wanders in late to Mass, who is not dressed to our personal standards, may be just the person who is most in need of Christ’s love. Sometimes we can offer that love simply with a smile and offer to come and sit next to us in “our” pew.READ MORE
In today’s Gospel from Mark, Jesus instructs us in the best way we can honor Him, teaching us the meaning of true worship. Jesus reveals that the way we truly worship Him is by giving Him our hearts. We also learn in this Gospel passage what our Lord does not want - the pious lip service that the scribes and Pharisees offer.READ MORE
“This is enough, O Lord! Take my life.” Talk about a bad day! Haven’t we all been through this at some point in our stewardship journey, whether in the parish ministry work we are trying to do, at home with our family or in our profession - we get worn out and worn down.READ MORE
In the Gospel from John, Jesus advises us, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” By calling Himself the Bread of Life, Jesus is telling us by what He says, how He acts, and in fact Who He is that He is the Word of God made flesh.READ MORE
Most are familiar with the scriptural quote from Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.” This passage serves as the Responsorial Psalm on this 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time because it supports the other readings with two key ideas: that we must place our trust in the Lord, and that we inherit life from our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.READ MORE
The First Reading from the prophet Ezekiel tells of how Ezekiel was called by God. The Lord speaks to him and says, “Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you.” God knew He was not giving Ezekiel an easy task, but that is part of what being called by the Lord sometimes involves.READ MORE
“Your abundance at the present time should supply their needs, so that their abundance may also supply your needs.” This is the fourth time in 2 Corinthians, chapter 8 that St. Paul addresses the issue of giving. What Paul is trying to explain is that the motivation for giving should be similar to God’s motivation for gifting us. In the passage which constitutes today’s Second Reading Paul says, “As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also.”READ MORE