Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God January 1, 2020 (Mass in English at 9 am. Mass in Spanish on 12/31 at 7pm.) The encounter between God and Moses in today’s first reading is awe-inspiring. God bestows three blessings upon Moses and directs him to extend those blessings to others: The Lord blesses you and keeps you. The Lord lets his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord looks upon you kindly and gives you peace. Good stewards realize these blessings are showered upon them in a unique and special way each time they receive the Eucharist, and exercising good stewardship of the Lord’s blessings in this sacrament begins by receiving these gifts with profound gratitude. Perhaps it would be a good idea this week to memorize these marvelous blessings and repeat them to yourself frequently. Make them part of your morning prayer each day.
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord Weekend of January 4/5, 2020 “You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace…” This is how Saint Paul begins his letter to the members of the Church at Ephesus in today’s second reading. He proclaims that he, and they, are stewards of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and therefore stewards of God’s loving, unifying and inclusive grace. He also proclaims that the Holy Spirit is at work within each of them, if only they would be open to the Spirit. Today, our world races by with intolerance, violence, desperate poverty, fear and division. At the beginning of this New Year, perhaps it is appropriate to reflect on Saint Paul’s words and ask ourselves how we can be good stewards of the gospel today. How will we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us? How can we be better stewards of Christ’s justice and peace?
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Weekend of January 11/12, 2020 Saint Matthew’s story of the baptism of Jesus is an appropriate scripture reading to reflect on our own baptism. Jesus’ baptism has been understood as a symbol of his death. Baptism is the sacrament by which we die to an old life of sin and enter a new life of grace. We “put on Christ.” To be a good steward of one’s baptism means to accept that one has new life in the risen Lord and is willing to be guided by the life of Jesus. As this year begins to unfold, reflect on the meaning of your own baptism, and how you might make an even deeper commitment to a new life in Christ Jesus.
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Weekend of January 18/19, 2020 In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist shows us how what we do and say reveals to others what we really believe. He has a clear sense of who he is and who he is not, and by his life’s work he gives testimony to God’s active presence in people’s lives. He challenges us to examine how our actions reveal our attitudes, testify to our beliefs and show how those beliefs reveal our true selves to others. Good stewards of their faith are aware of the sort of God they reveal to the world by their words and actions. Do our acts witness to a God who takes away that which alienates people from God and each other? Do our actions truly reveal God’s presence in the world today?
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Weekend of January 25/26, 2020 In today’s Gospel Jesus begins his ministry of healing, proclaims the kingdom of God and calls his first disciples, Simon and Andrew, and then the sons of Zebedee, James and John. Those first disciples might have preferred to keep their jobs, remain with their families and stay with the life they knew. Remarkably, though, all four of these people, just as they are, follow after this stranger who interrupts their daily routine. When they see Jesus and hear his words to them, they make a different choice. They take a risk, step out in faith, leave behind that which is comfortable and secure. They choose to follow Jesus. How far are we willing to go to leave the comfort and security of the life we know to follow Jesus?