September 22, 2019
Today we celebrate the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time. During Lent I often hear, “I can’t wait for Sunday; then I can have what I gave up,” or “When Easter comes, I can stop doing what I took up for Lent.” These kinds of statements miss the point. Our Lenten practices are meant to help us change our lives to live Jesus more clearly all the time. They reflect the attitudes addressed by Amos in today’s first reading, chiding those who obey the law by only doing what seems necessary rather than taking on the mind and heart of God. They obey to serve themselves, rather than God. The unjust steward can be seen as having the same attitude. He knows his strengths and weaknesses and uses them to help himself and others. He learns that when we are good to others, they do good to us. That worldly wisdom is not necessarily opposed to living as children of light. By living the Golden Rule, we can also serve God. In our 2nd reading St. Paul exhorts his hearers to pray for those in authority. By doing this we take on the mind and heart of God to support and challenge our leaders. Our Golden rule is to do unto others as God does to us: love with mercy, care for the poor and the outcast, and learn God’s ways in order to live like Him. At a meeting of families in Manila Pope Francis reminded people that faith does not take us away (or out of) the world but challenges us to participate in it more fully. When we take on the mind and heart of God, we live our faith by using our flesh and blood to serve Him and all His people, whether physically or spiritually, or both.
Our readings this Sunday are good reflections as we celebrate Stewardship Sunday here in our parish. Taking on the mind and heart of our good and generous God we can begin to understand the basic concept of being good stewards. Believing that God has given us everything we have and are, simply calls for a grateful response. God calls us to be generous as He is generous; giving ourselves and everything we have to His plans. We begin in prayer, asking God to show us our gifts and how we can each use them well to cooperate with His plan. Out of each day we are blessed to be on earth, how much time do we spend in thanking God? True disciples and true stewards daily give thanks for all God has done, is doing, and will do in generous stewards. Today, one of our own, a parishioner who offers time, talents, and treasures, on a consistent basis will share his ideas on living the stewardship way of life. Many thanks for his lay witness this Sunday and his inspiring words. This past week you received the Stewardship Report for the past year. It is more than just a financial report of revenue and expenses. It’s a report of how we lived this past year, many offering generously their time and talents for our parish. It’s a report of the many ways we live together in prayer, gratitude and generosity. As I look at it, it’s us, all of us, the community of St. Luke the Evangelist striving to be grateful and generous to God. Thank you! There is also a small card at the ends of the pews that I encourage you to take home and peruse. Especially take time to look at the table of giving. It may surprise you and help you to be more willing to increase your gift of treasure. After spending time in prayer, talking and listening to Jesus, make a return to Him for all the good He has done. Prayer, Participation and Generosity are ours to return.
Finally today, McMahon Fest is this coming Saturday from 12:00 Noon to 6:00pm. Thanks to our Festival Committee for their work to bring us a “FUN” Day for current and former parishioners and neighbors. Please pray for good weather and continue to spread the word; ALL ARE WELCOME! Friends, Neighbors, former parishioners, and of course all “Lukers!” Come one! Come All, and have a ball visiting and spending a fun afternoon on McMahon Field. Please remember that 5pm Mass will be held on the field! Bring a lawn chair!
God Bless! Have a good week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)