The Gospel message is contrary to modern culture that continually tries to convince us that our joy comes from the material things we possess. That the more we acquire, the happier we will be. Jesus shows us that our true joy comes from Stewardship, using our “invisible” gifts like love, mercy and forgiveness. True joy comes from “emptying” ourselves, giving of ourselves rather than always taking. We are called not to hoard but to share. True joy comes from living a grateful and generous lifestyle; become more “God-centered” and less “self-centered.”
Francois Fenelon, a seventeenth century Roman Catholic writer said this about prayer:
"Tell God all that is on your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability. Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself and others.READ MORE
A bishop friend visited a church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a few years after the devastating earthquake. The church's building consisted of a tent made from white tarps and duct tape, pitched in the midst of a sprawling camp for thousands of people still homeless from the earthquake. In the front row of that church sat six amputees ranging in age from 6 to 60. They were clapping and smiling as they sang song after song and lifted their prayers to God. The worship was full of hope...[and] with thanksgiving to the Lord.READ MORE
Jesus assures us that if we ask, God will take care of what we need. The problem is that our culture often confuses what we really need with what we simply want. The truth is that many of us need very little. However, we usually want so much more! Stewardship is simply being grateful for all that we are and all that we have been given, and generously sharing all of our God-given gifts with others. Generosity is a gift that opens doors to new relationships with others and with God.
In the twentieth century Will Rogers was known for his laughter, but he also knew how to weep. One day he was entertaining at the Milton H. Berry Institute in Los Angeles, a hospital that specialized in rehabilitating polio victims and people with broken backs and other extreme physical handicaps. Of course, Rogers had everybody laughing, even patients in really bad condition; but then he suddenly left the platform and went to the restroom. Milton Berry followed him to give him a towel; and when he opened the door, he saw Will Rogers leaning against the wall, sobbing like a child.READ MORE
We are all called to evangelize - to convert individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel. Our faith is more attractive to others by our actions than by our words alone. We may not be called to evangelize like St. Paul, but we should look for opportunities to share our faith through our actions and words, especially with those closest to us, like our family, friends and neighbors. Pray for the courage to live in Stewardship, joyfully expressing your faith the next time the opportunity arises.
This was Jesus’ command at the end of the Good Samaritan story. Did you know that the Samaritans and Jews despised each other? The moral of the story is to live Stewardship by loving our neighbor. That means loving someone you may not know, or someone that looks different than you, or someone that has different beliefs than you, or someone that you don’t like. All without expecting anything in return.
When Rosina Hernandez was in college, she once attended a rock concert at which one young man was brutally beaten by another. No one made an attempt to stop the beating. The next day she was struck dumb to learn that the youth had died as a result of the pounding. Yet neither she nor anyone else had raised a hand to help him. She could never forget the incident or her responsibility as an inactive bystander.READ MORE
As Catholics, we are all called to serve. Each of us has been given “charisms” otherwise known as gifts from the Holy Spirit to help build God’s Church. Our charisms can only be used for good. We know that we are using them in the right ministry when we are filled with joy and we want to share stories about our charitable works. Discern how God is calling you to Stewardship using your charisms. Say “yes” to what God is calling you to do and then do it! Share your joy and invite others to do the same.
A Catholic Magazine carried a story about four young men, Catholic College students, who were renting a house together.
One Saturday morning someone knocked on their door. And when they opened it, there stood this bedraggled-looking old man. His eyes were kind of marbleized, and he had a silvery stub of whiskers on his face. His clothes were ragged and torn. His shoes did not match. In fact, they were both for the same foot. And he carried a wicker basket full of unappealing vegetables that he was trying to sell. The boys felt sorry for him and bought some of his vegetables just to help him out.READ MORE
Ciao! Meet Carlo: an Italian fifteen-year-old techie who loved coding, video games, animals, and also lived a life that put him on the highway to heaven! Set to become the first millennial saint, Blessed Carlo Acutis was a vibrant, faith filled Italian teenager who loved technology and the Eucharist. This kid-friendly biography is the perfect introduction to Carlo’s fascinating and moving story. You Can Be a Saint! is a series of kid-friendly biographies about the many inspiring, diverse, and holy people on the path to sainthood.
Features of the series: Written in an engaging, narrative form, Colorful, playful illustrations and design, Fun and informative sidebars, Perfect for children ages 8-11 & Durable, high-quality hardcover.