Each newly baptized man, woman, and child have become new creations in Jesus Christ. They have died and risen with the one who rose on the third day and whose empty tomb we celebrate every Easter. Easter Sunday morning, they awake after many months of RCIA and all have the same question before them: “Now what?”
We are called to works of mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead, and give alms to the poor. Can the person who does not believe in Jesus do these things? Absolutely! The question is what difference it makes that you are disciples of Jesus Christ.
Cultivating a community of generosity is essential to a vibrant parish. Sometimes it’s difficult to get volunteers in the door and to keep them committed. Finding yourself with a volunteer shortage? Here are top to bottom tips for refreshing your volunteer process.
It is easy to get tangled up in the world and lose sight of that which is eternal. The emotions and feelings we have in any given situation are gifts from God. Some would say we are most alive when we are in grief. However, it is also the ability to move from that point to a point of hope that makes us human.
Jesus had to die so that he might rise again. It is the Resurrection that provides the meaning for the cross. Without Jesus’ rising, the events of the Passion are simply some grotesque sequence of man’s inhumanity toward man. We must die to ourselves so that Jesus can live through us.
The power of this symbol has been diminished in popular culture. It is often used in fashion and simple wall art and on bumper stickers and T-shirts, sometimes with Christian clichés and sometimes not. But the cross is something so much more. It is a reminder of the pain, suffering, and death of one who loved us so much that he would give his very life for us.
That soul-bearing, total understanding, “heart filled with joy because someone gets me” kind of conversation with someone who sees you as just a little bit remarkable and your journey as just a little bit special — it’s the way that Christ sees us.
Although Palm Sunday’s ability to confront and confound our indifference can be startling and even frightening, the real grace of this celebration is in the opportunity it provides for us to renew our commitment to life in Christ. More than being some sort of extended passion play, the days of Holy Week challenge us to envision a life in which we take responsibility for our sins.
In the life of a Christian, reflections on the mysteries of faith are necessary to bridge the gap of time and space between the historical event of the death and resurrection of Jesus and its redeeming power today. This is the transformative power of Everyday Stewardship.
Stewardship begins with the person in the mirror. You and I are accountable to each other, but at the end of the day, the only one who knows the true level of our generosity is God. As this Lent draws to a close, it is time to take a good long look in the mirror.
What has ever happened to you that Jesus cannot understand? What pain can you ever feel that he has not felt? Who is this God we follow and call Lord? It is the God who cared enough for us that He dared become like us in all things, even unto suffering and death.