Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Weekend of October 3/4, 2020 This weekend’s Gospel reading poses some challenging stewardship questions, particularly at a time when so many people are becoming disengaged from their faith communities. When Christ returns, will we be found working diligently in the Lord’s “vineyard;” converting our own hearts into a rich harvest of love and compassion? Calling those outside our vineyard to enter into the joy of the Lord? Or will we just be living off what the Lord has given us, but not sharing God’s love with others? Jesus’ parable suggests that if we are not good stewards of the gifts we have been given, then the gifts will be taken away, and we will be called to give an account for our failures. We have all we need for a bountiful harvest, even during these disquieting times. What will our Lord find when He returns and asks us to give an account?
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Weekend of October 10/11, 2020 There are several Bible verses Christians have memorized. One of them is in Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians found in this weekend’s second reading: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (4:13). Most people define themselves either by their problems or their possibilities. Fearful people wake up each morning ensnared by their problems. Christian stewards wake up reflecting on their possibilities with confidence and hope. Some stewardship reflection questions for the week: What challenges do you back away from because you doubt that you are up to them? What would you attempt tomorrow if you were sure God would help you?
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Weekend of October 17/18, 2020 Jesus offers us a profound teaching on stewardship in this weekend’s reading: What belongs to Caesar? What belongs to God? Christian stewards recognize that everything they have belongs to God. God created them, and God has claims on every part of their existence. They also realize that the sovereign is an institution whose nature and purpose is to promote the common good and protect the welfare of its citizenry. As long as it accomplishes this mission while treating every single person with deep respect, justice, and compassion, it merits the steward’s support and cooperation. Christian stewards know what belongs to the Lord, and they are better citizens when they live their lives according to his Gospel.
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Weekend of October 24/25, 2020 There is one command that summarizes this weekend’s Gospel: to love. For Jesus there is no distinction between these two commands of loving God and neighbor. One naturally flows from the other. In fact, for Jesus, these commands constitute a way of life for Christian stewards, a unique approach to life and to their relationship with others. Our neighbors include everyone with whom we come into contact: family members, friends, people we do not like, strangers and particularly those most in need of our love and compassion. Love calls us to open our hearts and do more to help others grow closer to the Lord. How might we follow Christ’s love command more fervently?