Everyday Stewardship

Posted on May 31, 2015 by - Everyday Stewardship

I collect smiley faces. The crown jewels of my collection are Harvey Ball autographed smileys and McCoy pottery smileys. When I started my collection, I looked for the McCoy symbol on each pottery piece, to verify it was a “real McCoy.” The stamp of the symbol told me that it had been made in the 1970s and was indeed made by the Ohio manufacturer. Without a stamp, I could only assume it was a counterfeit or copycat piece, coming from nowhere special and belonging to no known entity.

In a 2009 address, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI spoke about the Holy Trinity in this way: “The ‘name’ of the Blessed Trinity is, in a certain sense, imprinted upon all things because all that exists, down to the last particle, is in relation; in this way we catch a glimpse of God as relationship and ultimately, Creator Love. All things derive from love, aspire to love and move impelled by love.” That means that you and I, and all material things, bear this imprint. The mark indicates our origin and Creator.

This implies three important realities: first, all creation is important and precious; second, all creation belongs to the Creator whose mark is imprinted on it; and third, the origin and purpose of that creation is love. Good stewards, then, should cherish everything and everyone around them and treat all of it with great care and compassion. Our belongings and the resources used to create them all bear the mark. Our children, parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, and enemies–all bear the mark. There is nothing and no one who belongs to no known entity. It is all God’s. It is all the real McCoy.

A Glimpse of Heaven

Posted on May 27, 2015 by - Everyday Stewardship

Jesus cryingChristian community is always strongest in the face of tragedy. We can easily say that it is unfortunate that we can’t all come together as strong when times are good. But deep down, we don’t really believe that. In fact, it is precisely at the toughest times we want and we need community in Jesus Christ to be the strongest.

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God’s Microphones

Posted on May 24, 2015 by - Everyday Stewardship

Oscar RomeroWorking in a parish offers me the privilege of walking side by side with some of the most heroic and faithful people I have encountered.  These people do not have a platform or a pulpit.  They are those who in the midst of tragedy, pain, and the hard daily grind of providing for their family, persevere in faith and give more than they receive.

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Everyday Stewardship

Posted on May 24, 2015 by - Everyday Stewardship

My oldest son was having a tougher time than expected in his first year of college. In high school he expected to get As and be one of the smarter kids in the class. Now, he was at a school where everyone came from a similar experience in high school, and he found himself pretty darn average. His mother and I urged him early on to seek some help from a tutor. He gasped. When he was in high school, he WAS the tutor. After some reflection he said, “I just like to do things on my own.”

So often many of us are like that. We find it hard to accept help. We think maybe it says something about our lack of capability or skill to reach out for help. When help is offered to us, we can quickly respond, “No thanks, I’m fine.” It is amazing how sometimes we are anything but fine.

Living a stewardship way of life as a committed disciple of Jesus is not easy. In fact, we are guaranteed to fail. That inevitable failure is called sin. Grace makes it possible for us to continue on the journey. On that first Pentecost, the first followers of Jesus received the Holy Spirit who would guide them. For over two thousand years, that same Spirit has moved in us and guided us. Help for the journey is always available. Sin and temptation constantly seek to impede our steps. But through the gifts of this Spirit we can discern and make wise judgments, lessening the toll life can exact on us. Reach out and take the hand of God; allow his Spirit to lead you and guide you. Don’t look back after making the journey harder than it used to be and say, “I just liked doing things on my own.” You are never alone.

Everyday Stewardship: Pentecost 2015

Posted on May 22, 2015 by - Everyday Stewardship

PentecostLiving a stewardship way of life as a committed disciple of Jesus is not easy. In fact, we are guaranteed to fail. That inevitable failure is called sin. Grace makes it possible for us to continue on the journey.

On that first Pentecost, the first followers of Jesus received the Holy Spirit who would guide them. For over 2000 years, that same Spirit moves in us and guides us

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Everyday Stewardship

Posted on May 17, 2015 by - Everyday Stewardship

When I was around the age of six, my good friend Max moved away. I had known him for fewer than two years, but I was so fond of him that his moving away really hurt. I was living in Northern Virginia and he was moving to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh might as well have been in another country. I knew it was far and that was the end of this relationship. I woke up in the middle of the night after he had left that day, crying and yelling. My mother’s arms tried to comfort me as well as they could. But this was real pain, even for a six-year-old. It was love.

The First Letter of St. John states, “Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us.” I do not want to make too bold a statement or reduce John’s words to simple sentiment, but I think the love I felt that night when I was six was pretty close to the perfected love mentioned in the passage. A child, so innocent and still untouched by the cynicism and apathy of an adult world, experienced something so deep and hard to understand that I am certain my mother classified it as immature emotions that would quickly fade away. As adults, we think that all the time. Yet forty years later, I still vividly remember it. I cannot remember Max’s last name or visualize his face, but I can still recall the feelings and emotions of that event.

What if we tried harder to take John’s words to heart and love more people as a child loves a true friend? John tells us that in that love God is present. That night when I was six I may have lost a friend, but I think I found God.