An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
When I reflect on the many years of my life, there are many people who were influential on my development as a person, a student, and a Christian. Through their graciousness and generosity, I was able to work through challenges and difficulties, becoming stronger in the end. They pushed me to become better than I was at the time and helped me to see what I could eventually become. Without them giving of themselves to me I am unsure where I would be today. (more…)
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
I use GPS wherever I go and it serves me well most of the time. However, sometimes it leads me to a place that does not exist. Then there are those times when I am about to turn and the man inside my phone shouts out, “GPS signal lost” or “Rerouting!” The problem is when the area is unfamiliar to me, I have no choice but to listen. I could try to get where I am going by simple intuition or pulling over to look at a paper map, but I don’t trust my sense of direction and haven’t bought a paper map in close to a decade.
Many people move through life without any direction. (more…)
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Have you ever been somewhere public and days later others said they saw you there? You can find yourself surprised that they saw you and didn’t say hello. However, at least they saw you. You, on the other hand, didn’t even have any idea they were around you. You may have been oblivious to what was going on or those crossing your path on that day. You may have been forsaking that moment thinking about another time to come down the road.
Imagine being one of those who first encountered Jesus as he began his ministry. (more…)
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Epiphany of the Lord
My mother-in-law was the best gift-giver I ever knew. One could say my parents spoiled me growing up, but there was something about her gifts to me that made me feel overwhelmed. I guess it was that after several years I still was surprised that she would think enough of me to get me something no one else would. She was able to make me feel special every time. Of course, I believe she honored me in this way because I accepted her greatest gift to me, her daughter.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
Pope Francis said in an address from 2013, “Mary, whose “yes” opened the door for God to undo the knot of the ancient disobedience, is the Mother who patiently and lovingly brings us to God, so that He can untangle the knots of our soul by His fatherly mercy.”
Mary is the Mother who lovingly brings us to God, the one who turns human “yes’s” into miracles. Mary not only gave birth to the Son of God, she gave birth to our hope. By our own affirmative reply to God’s calling in our life, we trust that God will comfort and care for us as His own. Our Lady is then not only the Mother of God, but the Mother of Mercy, for without her, the pathway of mercy and grace does not break into our world.
We then must demonstrate our gratefulness for her answer to God by becoming vessels of God’s mercy for others. Just as He turned her “yes” into the Incarnation, God can turn our “yes” into a way for others to encounter Jesus Christ. God can untangle knots in others through our generosity and compassion. He can shower mercy upon a world in such desperate need of it through our actions and gestures of love. This is what it means to be a mature disciple and to live a stewardship way of life. Mary is the Mother of God, but she is our Mother as well. What better way to give thanks to the woman who made this possible with her gesture of love by offering that same love to the world.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Family
I have heard people say, “You don’t get to choose your family!” I believe that to be only partially true. I did not choose my father and mother, but my family is greater than my family tree of ancestors. My family includes those who have been there when both my father and mother passed away. My family includes those who came to see my newborn children in the hospital. My family includes those who celebrated with me my greatest triumphs and consoled me in my greatest times of trial. Each and every one of them I have chosen to be a part of my family.
Most of the time we talk about stewardship in terms of time, talent, and treasure. (more…)
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16
Advent comes along every year and will continue to do so until Jesus returns. As this season draws to a close, we can each ask ourselves, “Am I now any better a disciple of Jesus Christ and more of a steward of all my gifts than before the Advent season started?” I have been on this earth for 40+ years. I have had 40+ Advents to draw closer to God and to work on taking more seriously my baptismal call. Some have gone better than others, but I would like to think my spiritual life progressed at least a small amount during each of them.
There is not much time left! Are you ready for Christmas? Do you have any last minute things to do before Monday? In the next few days, God will continue to call us in subtle and profound ways. We live within the parameters of a calendar, a season, and time. God does not. It is easy to miss the call of God at this time of year, which is really sort of crazy since this time of year is all about God.
1 Samuel 1:24-28
I love to be around happy people. I bet you do too. Those who seemingly overflow with joy in the Lord make life seem easier and cause us to forget some of our lesser burdens.
That being said, I know too many unhappy people in this world. There are some who have lived very difficult lives, but others that just seem to not want to be happy. Some of these people may be actually depressed and in need of help, but others just seem to refuse to see the good in life.
Song of Songs 2:8-14
This time of year is filled with parties, dinners, and family gatherings for many of us. We spend so much time decorating, shopping, and cooking so can be wellsprings of hospitality and graciousness. However, some people in our midst experience none of these realities.
Some have no one to visit or know no one that will visit him or her. There are no parties to attend, no family to call on, and no money for shopping. They may or may not have a home. During these days leading up to Christmas, they are truly alone.