Advent begins December 3 this year and it will be here before we know it! Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas, but it can only be fruitful if we spend some time preparing for the preparation. Here are just 4 things we can do now to ensure that on the first Sunday of Advent our parishes and our people are ready.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
For all I know this Everyday Stewardship reflection is the last one you will ever read. That’s not because I fear you will no longer get something out of reading these. At least, I hope not! It is because Jesus may very well return by this time next week. Then there will be no more need for reflections like these in bulletins, on websites, or wherever else you are reading this. You think the odds are against this happening in the next few days? I can gamble from time to time, but I guess this is not something I am willing to say won’t happen for sure. We do believe Jesus will come again, don’t we?
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Over the years we have had many great social events in parish community. We have had socials for New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Valentine’s Day, and so many more. It seems we will use any excuse to have a party and enjoy each other’s company. And for more than the last decade, my pastor has been present at most of these events. What always tickles me is to see him in his clerics going around with a tray of entrees or desserts as he seeks to serve his parishioners. We have joked that his clothing does resemble that of a waiter in a fine restaurant. The only difference is no tips! Sorry, Monsignor.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Feast of All Saints
I remember attending Catholic School growing up and every year having to write a report on a saint. We were told that these people of faith were role models for us in our Christian journey. Even though they were real people, they always seemed to me to be larger than life. When I was younger I never thought I could become just like them. Now that I am older, I realize that we are all in fact called to be just like them.
Holiness is not something reserved for those in a book of saints. It is the goal of all intentional disciples living as good stewards. However, it takes commitment to achieve holiness. It also requires us to live mindfully and be continually aware of how God is moving in our lives.
You may never have thought about a stewardship way of life as a pathway to sainthood, but if you take the time to read the lives of saints you will see how these heroes truly cultivated the gifts God had given them and gave them back with increase to God. You will encounter stories of outreach to the poor, comforting the distressed, and befriending the lonely. And you will begin to see the parallel between what these great disciples did in their lives with the simple responses to God’s call in your life. The Church may never formally canonize you, but there will be those whose paths you cross that will bear witness to the fact that at least – for a moment – they caught a glimpse of what could have been a living saint.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time
I read an interesting article about how tolerance has become a substitute for love. As Christians we often talk about tolerance toward others when truly the call of Jesus Christ is to love others, not simply tolerant them. The truth is tolerance is a lot easier than love.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Many years ago, during faith formation in my parish, one of the children wrote something that wasn’t very nice on a textbook that belonged to someone else. Being the pastoral associate who oversaw the program, I began the investigation immediately. Slowly I began eliminating suspects until it became obvious who was the perpetrator. He denied he was the one, but after much pressure he broke down and confessed. Of course, I derived no satisfaction from finding out the culprit. Of course, it was my own son.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Art Buchwald, the longtime humorist for the Washington Post who died in 2007, is credited with saying, “The best things in life aren’t things.” As Christians, we know this statement to be true. Certainly the best things in our lives are not those items that money can buy or things we can create in the material world. Faith, hope, and love are more precious than anything we can see with our eyes. Yet, as humans we often find ourselves longing for the very things that we claim are not nearly as valuable. We lose sight of what is real and true.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
You know how the story goes. Your son or daughter swears that while you were gone he or she only invited 2 friends over to watch a movie and eat popcorn. How those other 25 people got there with beer is still a mystery! They were not invited but your young host felt pretty uncomfortable just kicking them out. You did teach them about good hospitality after all.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Tim
Remember a time when jealousy or envy reared it’s ugly head and you wished you had what someone else owned? Maybe it was a house, a car, a bank account, or even that luscious green lawn. All humans have had that feeling before and some of us more often than others. After the emotion hit you, hopefully you considered all the good gifts you did have in your life and gave thanks for them. Let’s pray that you are still not hanging onto those feelings. Unfortunately, we do live in a world that seems to fuel those desires and push us toward wanting more and more.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time
As everyday stewards, I hope that each of us try to live daily lives of generosity for the glory of God. I hope that we are all working to cultivate characteristics of a good everyday steward so that we can grow in maturity of faith and draw closer to Christ. But if we could accurately see on a magical computer spreadsheet how everyone else around us was living life would it impact how we lived out our stewardship way of life? If we found out that others weren’t trying as hard as we were or they were not nearly as generous would it give us reason to pause?