G. P. S.
We heard a few weekends, in the opening verses John 6, that the offertory is that time at Mass we recall all is gift from God, and so we offer something back to him in gratitude. Gospel Giving is always Grateful Giving. There is no stewardship that is not rooted in gratitude.
Traditionally stewardship has been thought of as giving of Time, Talent, and Treasure. I want to propose a new way of thinking about stewardship as: the action of Giving, the action of Praying, and the action of Serving. Together, we call these “GPS.” An electronic GPS helps navigate a journey toward a destination. In the same sense, the Stewardship GPS guides the Christian along the journey to God.
Throughout sacred scripture God tells us that everything belongs to God. He made the world and all that is in it. He made us and blessed us with absolutely every gift we have. Our lives, our families, our health, our education, our unique talents and skills, our job and our income are all blessings from God, entrusted into our care for the good of all people. We are called to return just a small portion of our gifts back to the Lord for the sake of our parish community; not simply for just the programs we participate in but for the greater need of the Church and our community. No gift is too small. Let us never forget that boy in the Gospel: all he had was two fish and five loaves but were good were those when the need was so great (cf. Jn 6:9). And of course, we know what Jesus did with that small gift, he fed thousands.
When we pray we communicate with God. Jesus teaches us that it is necessary to pray always without becoming weary (cf. Lk 18:18). St Paul returns to the same teaching. He writes to the Thessalonians: “Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thes 5:17-18) . I encourage every parishioner to find 10-15 minutes every day of quiet prayer. I also strongly encourage each parishioner to spend 30-45 minutes of quiet prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament at least once a week. We cannot give what we do not have. If we want others to know how much God loves them, then each one of us must know in a deeply personal way how much God loves each of us. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will be coming soon, so stay tuned! 😊
At the very heart of Christian stewardship is the act of service. “Mature disciples make a conscious, firm decision, carried out in action, to be followers of Jesus Christ no matter the cost to themselves. Beginning in conversion, change of mind and heart, this commitment is expressed not in a single action nor even in a number of actions over a period of time, but in an entire way of life. It means committing one’s self to the Lord” (Stewardship – A Disciple’s Response, U. S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship). Jesus himself came to teach us how to give of our whole selves: I came not to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many (cf. Mt 20:28).
A stewardship parish seeks to be that common faith community within which parishioners are invited and have the opportunity to serve and be served, giving, receiving and sharing their God-given giftedness. As summer comes to an end, I encourage everyone of us to discern one’s stewardship involvement of this parish. How are you actively Giving, Praying, and Serving your brothers and sisters here at St. Pius X? Together, with Christ’s grace, God can accomplish great things in our Grandville community.
In Christ’s love and friendship,