Stewardship Bulletin Bits - May 22 - November 20, 2016

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity: May 22nd
Today’s psalm reminds us that we have been crowned with glory and honor and given rule over the works of God’s hands.  But we must be good stewards, for the Lord will surely hold us accountable for the use of those gifts!
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ: May 29th  
In today’s Gospel, the disciples suggest that Jesus disperse the crowd so that they might individually seek food and lodging. The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand is Jesus’ powerful reminder that when we share our gifts in His name there is always more than enough!
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: June 5th  
Both the first reading and the Gospel remind us powerfully that every breath we take is a gift from God.  How conscious am I of this first and most precious gift?  Am I a good steward of the life and time with which I have been blessed? 
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: June 12th
Like Nathan in today’s first reading, we sin when we begin to feel entitled and act as if what we have is ours by right, when we forget that everything we have is an unmerited gift from God.  But God is gracious and forgiving – even when we use His gifts wrongly or squander them thoughtlessly – if, like Nathan, we confess our guilt and ask His pardon. 
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time: June 19th
“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asks Peter in today’s Gospel.  Does my use of the gifts and talents entrusted to me accurately reflect my answer to that same question?  How willing am I to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow in His steps?                                                                        See Luke 9:20
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: June 26th 
In today’s second reading, St. Paul provides a wonderful one-sentence summary of Christian stewardship: Out of love, place yourselves at one another’s service.
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: July 3rd 
“The harvest is rich,” Jesus tells the seventy-two in today’s Gospel, “but the workers are few.”  The situation is the same today.  How can I help with God’s harvest?  Am I called into the field?  Am I one who could provide food or shelter or wages to those who toil in the fields of the Lord?            See Luke 10:2
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: July 10th
The good Samaritan was also a good steward, giving his time and his treasure to meet his neighbor’s need.  At the end of this familiar story, Jesus urges His hearers – and us – to go and do the same!
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: July 17th 
Today’s readings speak of hospitality.  Abraham, who cheerfully did for his guests all that desert hospitality required, was rewarded with his heart’s desire – a son.  Martha also busied herself with all the details of hospitality, but grudgingly and with complaint.  Am I a cheerful or a grudging giver?
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: July 24th 
Jesus is describing God’s immeasurable generosity when He says in today’s Gospel, “Whoever asks, receives; whoever seeks, finds; whoever knocks, is admitted.”  But it should also be the description of us as Christian stewards – those seeking to follow Christ by using our gifts in service to others.   See Luke 11:10
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: July 31st 
Jesus urges us to be rich in what matters to God.  The psalmist warns us against hardening our hearts.  Are our hearts open to what really matters?
Transfiguration: August 6th
In the Gospel today, Jesus warns us not to give in to hopes of repayment, but to give open-handedly to the poor and needy.  That sort of giving mirrors the bountiful giving of God, and Jesus assures us it is blessed indeed!
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  August 7th
Am I waiting for the “right” time to become a good steward?  Do I plan to share my time and talents “later?”  Today’s Gospel warns those who are procrastinating about stewardship to be prepared – “at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”                                        See Luke 12:34 
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  August 14th
In today’s second reading, St. Paul encourages us not to grow weary or lose heart, but to persevere in following Jesus.  Our willingness to give of ourselves, even in the face of conflict and division, is one way to measure our discipleship.
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time:  August 21st
Today’s reading from Isaiah describes the Israelites bringing their offering to the Lord “in clean vessels.”  The gift of myself – my patient endurance and fidelity to the will of God – is as important as the monetary gift I offer.                                                                                                        See Isaiah 66:20
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time:  August 28th
In the Gospel today, Jesus warns us not to give in to hopes of repayment, but to give open-handedly to the poor and needy.  That sort of giving mirrors the bountiful giving of God, and Jesus assures us it is blessed indeed!
Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time:  September 4th
Jesus tells the crowd that only those who renounce all of their possessions can be His disciples.  Is He truly asking us to give up everything?  Perhaps instead He is trying to help us see that everything we think we own is really a gift from God.  Good stewards know that and strive to use those gifts accountably.
Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  September 11th     
We can hear God speaking to us today in the words of the father to his elder son: “You are with me always, and everything I have is yours.”  What is my response to such remarkable generosity?  Do I give joyfully and generously as God gives to me?                                                         See Luke 15:31
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  September 18th
The dishonest manager in today’s parable knew how to manipulate money to his own advantage.  But the Gospel warns that no one can serve both God and money.  Which do I serve?  Is my stewardship such that anyone can tell?
Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  September 25th
The sin of the rich man in today’s parable was not that he was rich, but that he failed to share his wealth with the beggar at his gate.  He knew Lazarus, perhaps walked by him every time he came in or out, but did nothing to relieve his suffering.  Is there a Lazarus in my life?  What am I doing to help?
Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time:  October 2nd
When will I have given enough – of my income, of my time, of my talents?  Today’s Gospel suggests that only total stewardship will do:  “When you have done all you have been commanded to do, say, ‘We are useless servants.  We have done no more than our duty.”                                               See Luke 17:10
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  October 9th
Jesus healed ten lepers in today’s Gospel.  Only one (ten percent) came back to say thank you.  I, too, have received many blessings from the Lord – indeed, all I am and all I have is gift!  How and how often have I remembered to thank Him?
Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  October 16th
Today’s theme is perseverance – Moses keeping his hands upraised throughout the battle, Paul urging Timothy to stay with the task of preaching and teaching, and the widow appealing to the corrupt judge.  To be faithful stewards of God’s gifts, we, too, must persevere in the roles to which we are called.
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  October 23rd
Both the first reading and today’s psalm say clearly that the Lord hears the cry of the poor.  Have I been given the gifts – of time or money or abilities – to be the means by which God answers their need?
All Saints:  November 1st
Today’s psalm makes clear that we and everything we think we own actually belong to God instead: “The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it.”  We are stewards, not owners, of our lives and all we possess!                                                                            See Psalm 24 
All Souls:  November 2nd
On the Feast of All Souls we pray for those who have gone before us and stand in judgment before God.  May we share with one another the treasure of Love’s memory, and console one another with the assurance of resurrection.
Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time:  October 30th
We are called to be good stewards of our personal vocations.  St. Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians is therefore ours, too – “that our God may make us worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith.”                                                         See 2 Thessalonians 1:11
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time:  November 6th
In today’s second reading, St. Paul prays that the Thessalonians may be strengthened “in every good deed and word.”  May we, too, be strengthened and empowered to use our time and talents for the good of others.                                                                                                 See 2 Thessalonians 2:17 
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time:  November 13th
Today’s readings paint a somewhat frightening picture of the end of time.  But the Gospel ends with the assurance to faithful stewards that those who persevere will be saved.
Christ the King Sunday:  November 20th 
Today we celebrate Christ the King and are reminded that all was created through Him and for Him.  Does my stewardship of the blessings entrusted to me give evidence that Christ is Lord of my life?