A Message From Father Brian

During the many years of Msgr. John Rowan’s pastorate here at St. Lawrence, the word “stewardship” was used quite alot.  It didn’t happen overnight, I’m sure, but with time many parishioners here came to understand not only the meaning of the word, but to really take it to heart as a “big picture” approach to living the  Christian life.  This weekend is dubbed a stewardship “Awareness Weekend,” but for us to recapture an awareness of our identity as stewards, we’ve obviously got to understand what that means!  C.S. Lewis wrote, “Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not His own already.”  One very good place we can begin to rekindle a sense of stewardship is with the acknowledgement that everything—EVERYTHING—belongs to God.  Every cell in our body, every breath we take, every skill, accomplishment, relationship, material possession we believe to be our own, is actually a gift on loan to us from our Divine Parent.  We are not our own in the independent way we like to think; we belong to him, as does everything that exists.

Rather than puffing ourselves up as masters of our own universe, we are closer to the truth when we recognize with profound gratitude that we are the caretakers of all that God has placed in our hands.  We are stewards of the created world, of our bodies, our relationships, our society, our Church, our material resources, called to look after an array of treasures that are in our keeping only for a brief time.  And if we are the Master’s stewards, we are meant to be good ones—responsible, trustworthy, unselfish, and productive.

Stewardship begins, as Psalm 24 would say, with the realization that “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”  We are creatures of dust—as we recalled this past All Souls Day—but creatures whom God loves so passionately that he has poured marvelous things into our lap.  The question then becomes, what are we supposed to do with it all?  How are we to use the months and years, the aptitudes and skills, the innate gifts and material resources on loan to us, in a way that will be truly life-giving for ourselves and others?  If we are collaborating with the Lord in building up his Kingdom, how do we hold up our end of the partnership

I hope you won’t roll your eyes when you hear an invitation over the next two weekends to look at our parish’s financial portrait, and to thoughtfully consider increasing your support.  Some people mistakenly believe that stewardship is only about church budgets and weekly collections.  It’s not.  But we can’t go deeper as a parish family—much less hold steady—if we get embarrassed or resentful at the mention of money.  Stewardship includes the whole spectrum of ways that we make responsible use of God’s gifts.  With Thanks-giving right around the corner, let’s be keenly aware of the blessings we’ve received, and resolve to step more trustingly into our role as good stewards of those many gifts.

May our brother and patron, St. Lawrence, pray for us!  God love you.  

 

 

THE QUESTION BOX

Just for fun—and some ongoing education—each week’s bulletin offers a question on our Catholic spirituality and tradition. Enjoy!

Question: :   Is there some connection between our Catholic heritage and Halloween? 

(a) No, there is no link whatsoever
(b) Yes, the Church has always believed in the existence of demonic powers, and Halloween is an affirmation of that belief.
(c) Yes, the word, Halloween, is an abbreviated way of saying "All Hallow's Eve," that is, the eve of All Hallows (Saints) Day.
(d) No, most Christians have an aversion to candy.

Answer:  The origins of our modern-day Halloween can be traced back to the pagan spirituality of the Celts in pre-Christian Ireland.  But the word "Hallowe'en" has a clear link with the Church's calendar, no matter how far removed all the costumes, jack o' lanterns, and trick-or-treating may be from Christian spirituality.  The word itself is simply a contracted form of "All Hallows Eve," that is, the night before the Church's feast of all the hallowed (holy) ones—All Saints Day, on Wednesday, November 1st.  The correct answer is (c).

 

 

 

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