“Do nothing out of selfishness; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves....” (Philippians 2:3)
Pride and ego are hard things to control. We see how others act or dress and think we are superior to them. We idolize our own self-image. But, if we truly believe everything is a gift from God, we recognize all the people that God has put into our lives as gifts! We are grateful for how they enrich our lives. Pray everyday for the people in your life: your family, your friends, and those who make you angry.
"So the last will be first and the first last." (Matthew 20:16)
You've heard the saying "It's not where you start, but how you finish." This certainly applies to this Bible passage. We have a responsibility not only for our own lives, but for the lives of others as well. We are called to generously share our gifts with others, not hoard them for our own use. Our sincere gratitude and cheerful generosity will help us live "God-centered" lives and not "self-centered: lives.
“For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8)
This is the essence of stewardship — everything we have and everything we are is a gift from God. We aren’t “owners” of anything, we are merely “stewards” of the gifts that God has given us, especially our very own lives. Pray to God daily and ask Him how He is calling you to live the life that He intended for you.
“You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel...”(Ezekiel 33:7)
Many of us are generous with our gifts.However, many of us are not generous in proportion to the gifts we have been given. How often do we give at the minimum level required? Remember, the Lord calls us to nurture and develop our gifts. He calls us to be generous with all the gifts He has given us, especially the one that means the most to us.
“What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Matthew 16:26)
St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Remember, you are what you are in the eyes of God, and nothing else.” We often forget this stewardship wisdom when we spend all of our time, talent, and treasure to gain more of the world’s riches. We need to set our priorities based on God’s values and not the values of the material world.
”Or who has given the Lord anything that he may be repaid?” (Romans 11:35)
St. Paul reminds us of a central fact of stewardship. We cannot give the Lord anything — God already owns it all. God made everything. All we can do is return a portion of God’s many gifts back to Him. Sincere gratitude for our gifts opens our hearts to joyful generosity! Through your generous sharing, you just may be the answer to someone’s prayer.
“For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29)
God has a special mission in mind for each of us. He has given us the gifts we need to accomplish that mission. We are called to be Good stewards by usingthose gifts to do the work that He has planned for each of us. If we deny our gifts or fail to use them as God calls us to use them, then some part of His workWill be left undone.
“He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.” (Matthew 14:29)
When you hear Jesus calling, do you respondimmediately and trust that He knows what He’sdoing? If so, you are walking on water! Whenwe say “yes” to Jesus, we feel the power of Hispresence in our lives.We can feel the freedom it gives us!Listen to how Jesus is calling you to livethe extraordinary lifeHe has intended for you.
“Jesus said to them, ‘There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves’.” (Matthew 14:16)
This is what Jesus said right before he fed thousand men. How often do we really place our trust in Jesus when the situation looks grim? With Jesus, no gift is too small or insignificant when offered with love. But, we have to do our part. We should trust that Jesus will provide all that we need. We need to believe that Jesus has a better plan in store for us.
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Do you really trust God? Do you really believe that God will provide all that you need? Faith is a challenge for everyone at times. Putting our trust in God, in everything we do, in good times and in bad, means that God’s plan for our lives may be quite different than what we planned.
When one door closes, another one opens. Trust in God, His plan is always better.
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field...He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.” (Matthew 13 ;24, 37-38)
As children of God, we are all “good seeds.” We are blessed by God with the potential to accomplish much good in the world. We fulfill God’s plan when we spend time in prayer everyday, use our skills to help others, and share our financial gifts to help build God’s kingdom on earth. Through our example of gratitude and generosity we sow “good seeds” on earth and ultimately help each other get to Heaven!
“The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word but then the cares of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.” (Matthew 13:22)
Does the lure of riches and material goods choke God out of your life? Are you so caught up in earthly activities that you have no time for God? Gratitude and generosity are virtues that we should strive to do on a daily basis. Every decision we make either takes us one step closer to God or one step further away. What we receive at Mass every Sunday should be shared with others all the other days of the week as well.
“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7)
To receive the gift of the Holy Spirit you must open your heart and invite Him in! Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts, words, and actions every day! Be grateful for all the gifts God has given you!
Regardless of our individual circumstances, God has given all of us many blessings. What we do with those gifts is our gift back to God! By generously sharing everything we have and everything we are, we become more “God-centered” and less “self-centered” and our lives truly reflect God’s light, love, and mercy.
The Easter season is almost over. This season is always a tougher one for us Catholics. We get Advent and Lent: preparation. We are on board with Christmas, mainly because we like to keep up our decorations until someone tells us the exact day we must take them down. But Easter as a season is a bit more difficult to observe. The rest of the world has moved on. There are no Easter eggs left in store windows and all those religious movies on television have given way to reruns or season-ending episodes. It just feels like Easter anywhere ... except in the Church.READ MORE