A Letter From Our Pastor: Remaining Loyal to My Commitments
Understanding loyalty seems to be part of understanding stewardship. A story told in William J. Bennett’s Book of Virtues helps to illustrate this. Reprinted from an old Boy Scout book and attributed to Walter MacPeek, it is titled, Loyalty to a Brother.
During the Second World War, one of two brothers fighting in the same unit in France fell by an enemy bullet. The other brother, named Tom, escaped. He approached his officer asking permission to go and bring his brother in. “He is probably dead,” said the officer, “and there is no use in your risking your life to bring in his body.” But after further pleading, the officer consented. Just as the soldier reached the lines with his brother on his shoulders, the wounded man died.
“There, you see,” said the officer, “you risked your life for nothing.” “No,” replied Tom. “I did what he expected of me, and I have my reward. When I crept up to him and took him in my arms, he said, “Tom, I knew you would come — I just felt you would come.”
There you have the gift of it all — somebody expects something fine and noble and unselfish of us; someone expects us to be faithful.
Within that last statement, I find an important insight into stewardship. Like Tom, I believe we do what God expects of us when we make a disciple’s response to stewardship. And like Tom, it begins with a decision on our part, followed by making a commitment, and then knowing that God — Who has already blessed us — will reward us even more in ways we can’t even describe.
The story of the two brothers reminds me of our loyalty to God. We are reminded of His loyalty to us as we recall the passion, death and resurrection of God’s Son, as we have throughout Lent and now with Easter upon us this month. Because of my loyalty to Him, I willingly embrace aspects of stewardship. I am still convinced it is what I need to do to be a faithful disciple.
By participating in our annual Stewardship Renewal and filling out a commitment card in my name, I can express an intent to fulfill an expectation to do something fine, noble and unselfish. Part of being a good steward is taking some time to revisit the commitments I made to enhance my spiritual life. It helps to often remind myself of my commitment to use my time, talent and treasure to live the stewardship way of life. Renewing this commitment to embrace the ways of being a disciple can change your life.
I encourage you to think about living the stewardship way of life. Revisit the commitments made in the past or think about making some new ones in the future. Throughout our history, the Church has always benefited from the commitment of its people. And the needs of the world are many. These are all opportunities to do something fine, noble and unselfish for God and others.
The Easter Season is a perfect time to reflect on our commitment to being authentic disciples of the risen Christ. To reflect on God’s loyalty to us, through His Son, encourages us to renew our loyalty to God in being a true disciple. We are expected to do something fine, noble and unselfish. We are expected to be faithful. His invitation to be His disciple was first responded to at our Baptism. Our “initiation” into the faith was completed at our Confirmation. But the commitment is lived daily. And isn’t that what loyalty is all about?
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Steven Arisman, Pastor