Stewardship Bulletin Bits - December 17, 2017 - March 25, 2018

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December 17, 2017 - 3rd Sunday of Advent

“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16 -18

This scripture reading sums up Stewardship. “Rejoice always” means place your trust in God; He will provide all that you need. “Pray constantly” means prayer should be a running conversation with God throughout the whole day, every day. “Give thanks in all circumstances” means even in bad situations, thank God. Suffering a little bit helps build empathy for others in similar situations.

 

December 24, 2017 - 4th Sunday of Advent

“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”-  Luke 1:28

Faith is a gift from God. Take time in silence and thank Him for all the gifts He has given you. Try to set aside any anger or resentment you have and really open your heart to receive the gift of God’s mercy and forgiveness. We can’t give what we don’t have. We need to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness first before we can give it to others.

 

December 31, 2017 - The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

“…as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive.” - Colossians 3:13

Forgiveness – one of the hardest things for people to do. It’s amazing how long we can hold a grudge or be angry with someone. As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family, take this opportunity to give the gift of forgiveness to someone - maybe someone in your family, maybe a friend, maybe a co- worker or neighbor or, maybe yourself. Pick up the phone or text someone right now.

January 7, 2018 - Epiphany of the Lord

“..they fell down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh...” - Matthew 2:11

Notice the order of events in the Magi’s visit. First, they knelt before Jesus and prayed to Him. Then they presented Him with their gifts. We, too, must take time to pray before we present our gifts to the Lord. We never know what God may be asking us to share!

 

January 14, 2018 - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’” - John 1:38

What are you looking for? Are you wasting your time looking for the material comforts of the world? Or, is your heart longing for something deeper that can only be found by spending time with God? Take time, each day, in silence and ask the Lord what it is that He wants you to do.

 

January 21, 2018 - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” - Mark 1:17

Jesus’ call to “Follow me” is a call to all Christians! The call is in the here and now, in our present circumstances, not when we think we are “ready” or have everything in order. Good stewardship of our God-given gifts means that things aren’t always going to go according to our schedule and that God has a much better plan in store for each of us.

 

January 28, 2018 - 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Brothers and sisters: I should like you to be free of anxieties.” - 1 Corinthians 7:32

How much anxiety do we bring upon ourselves by constantly worrying about not having enough or attaining more things? God won’t necessarily give you everything you want, but He will provide everything you need. Try this – use the word “pray” instead of the word “worry” in the future.

 

February 4, 2018 - 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed…He told them, ‘Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.’” - Mark 1:35, 38

In today’s Gospel reading we see a perfect example of stewardship. Jesus gives His time to do all that God wishes - healing the sick and preaching. But before He begins, Jesus makes time to be alone with God in prayer. It is through prayer, spending time with God, that we find the strength to do what He wishes us to do. Be sure to find time every day to be with God.

 

February 11, 2018 - 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Brothers and sisters, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” - 1 Corinthians 10:31

Do a quick check of your priorities. Where does God rank in that list? If He’s not first, you have some work to do. Putting God first in everything helps us from putting other “gods” (like our pride and ego, money and possessions to name a few) before God. Before making a decision, ask yourself I’m I going this for the glory of God or for the glory of me?

 

 

February 18, 2018 - 1st Sunday of Lent

“After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God….” - Mark 1:14

Do you ever think about how difficult it must have been for Jesus to come into Galilee, knowing that John had just been arrested for teaching the same message that Jesus was proclaiming. It must have taken great love and trust for Jesus to do what the Father had sent Him here on earth to do. In the same way, following a life of stewardship takes great love and trust from us. We must be willing to surrender completely to God, trusting that God will always give us all that we need to fulfill His plan for us.

 

February 25, 2018 - 2nd Sunday of Lent

“’Here I am!’ he answered.” - Genesis 22:11

It is easy to say, “Here I am, Lord,” when we are kneeling in church. But how easy is it to say “Here I am, Lord,” when a neighbor needs our help, when we are invited to join a parish ministry, or when we are asked to provide financial support? Often times we are called when it’s not convenient for us. Discipleship is not always easy, most of the time it will make us uncomfortable and vulnerable.

 

 March 4, 2018 - 3rd Sunday of Lent

“You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything…” - Exodus 20:4

How many “gods” do you put before God? “Idols” do not always take the shape of physical things, things we can touch and feel. Those are easy to recognize. Many times they take the form of things we cannot touch and are much harder to spot like pride, power, ego, time, comfort or health.

 

March 11, 2018 - 4th Sunday of Lent

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…” - John 3:16

Of all the wonderful gifts that God has given to us, the gift of His own Son is truly the greatest. How can we ever thank God for a gift like that? God does not ask us to sacrifice our own precious firstborn, but He does ask that we are grateful and generous with our God-given gifts. That we nurture and develop them and return with increase.

 

March 18, 2018 - 5th Sunday of Lent

“I will be their God and they shall be my people.” - Jeremiah 31:33

What does it mean to be God’s people? It means we recognize that everything we have and everything we are belongs to God. We aren’t “owners” of anything, we are merely “stewards” of the gifts God has given us. It means we are willing to use our gifts and our lives to care for our neighbors and the world, just as God cares for us.

 

March 25, 2018 - Palm Sunday

“Pilate again said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?’ And they cried out again, ‘Crucify him.’” – Mark 15:12-13

Jesus told us “whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” Every day we are presented opportunities to help someone. Every day we have the opportunity to see the face of Jesus in others and be the face of Jesus to others. Pray for the strength and courage to stand up for those in need of our help.