From Our Pastor: 25th Sunday In Ordinary Time
We read in the prophet Amos about those who trample the needy and destroy the poor and cheat to get ahead. God is calling us to care for the poor and needy. God is calling us to be fair and honest in our business dealings. In all, the Lord is calling us to be honest people who truly care.
Paul tells us to pray for those in authority over us, most especially our governmental leaders. He says he was called to speak the truth even when it is tough. Calling all people from all places to be one in prayer and united.
The gospel tells us of a steward that squanders the masters property and is having to give account for how he has failed. The steward continues to try to swindle and look out for himself, but in doing so finally does the right thing in the mind of the master. The master commends him for his forgiveness and mercy and generosity. The steward should have been a good steward and given generously to others, but instead looked out for himself alone. Then in trying to look out for himself, stumbled upon kindness and generosity, and sadly doesn't even realize it. This gospel is about us as stewards of what God has given us. So often we squander it and are not generous as the Lord is generous to us. We are often so focused on this world, and the comforts and wealth of this world, instead of building up the treasures of heaven and giving freely of the graces we have received. If someone took an account of your use of your finances, the question would be, What do they see as your priority in your finances? No, it's not just about finances. But sadly, in avoiding finances and not wanting to offend someone, challenging them to look at their finances in giving, we distract by saying we can't look at our personal finances and have to focus on everything else while sadly leaving out the challenge we need to our giving as well. Your stuff? Your comfort? Your hording of wealth? Your swindling others as in the first reading? Your looking out for the poor as God calls us over and over in scripture? Your giving to the church's needs as one of the primary precepts the Church calls us to? Your response to the Lord being first? If it isn't the Lord, the Church, and the needs of others, then we need to rearrange our priorities and our finances, to make these things first. You cannot worship money and God. You must worship God and use the money He has given you for why He gives it to you. Not to horde but to care for ourselves and families and plan for the future, but not to excess and not to the detriment of the Lord first. You can NOT out give the Lord.
Many have asked why the air isn't fixed yet. First, a 25-ton unit is not something kept in stock and would take time to get and put in. We need to rent a crane to install the unit, but we are already doing that in the spring for the boilers. The boilers take a long time to arrive and so won't be here for months. To save money, we will do both projects at the same time when the crane is here instead of paying for one twice. It is a smart move as stewards not to duplicate. Also, we don't have the money for either of these projects fully. We will be launching an initiative in the near future to look at how to care for all the needs of the parish that are necessary right now and into the future. Look forward to this info coming soon.
Lastly, thank you to our stewardship speakers this weekend at all the Masses for their witness to how the Lord is working in their lives and how they are responding to the generosity the Lord has given to them. Please give them your attention and gratitude for the courage to speak to the Lord's work in their lives. You should have received your stewardship renewal cards, and I ask you to seriously pray and consider every aspect of this renewal and respond on that card or online; to really take this opportunity to reexamine how the Lord is working and how the Lord is calling you to respond to His generosity by being generous with your entire self.
-Rev. Steven Arisman