Why We Do What We Do

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2016

church in hands

In the Church we like to build things. We build churches, parish centers, schools, and many more brick and mortar structures to carry on with our mission. We also build things that are not as tangible. We build engagement. We try to increase the Offertory. We work to increase the number of people in programs. We try to fill more seats on a Sunday. Hopefully, we do all these things to help fulfill our mission, which is to bring people to Jesus Christ and assist them in becoming mature and intentional disciples. But having spent over 20 years in parish ministry, I realize that is not always the case.

As individuals we can fall prey to the same temptations as a parish community. We begin to lose sight of why we live a stewardship way of life and why we were called in our baptism to share with others the Good News. We compete with others, much like a parish sometimes competes with the parish across town. We may find ourselves doing things without thought or reflection, performing these tasks simply because that is what we have always done. Finally, we may limit our role in God’s plan because we fear not having the time, talent, or money to accomplish what God has asked of us. We become more practical and less trusting in God’s promises.

The reality is that there will come a day when all our churches, parish centers, and schools will be no more. All we have stored up as communities and individuals will cease to exist. All that will remain is God and those who love Him. We can never lose sight of why we do what we do: eternal life with Jesus Christ. Will there be a list at the end of your life of all those you helped lead to the Father? I do not know. But if there is one, my prayer for each of us is that is very, very long.

Fr. Jacques Hamel, Pray For Us

The recent murder of Father Jacques Hamel is too horrible to imagine. How it happened is contained in this article from the UK’s Mirror. Let us pray for our world and ask for Fr. Hamel’s intercession, for he is a martyr who now is with God. Below are the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Jacques Hamel celebrating a mass in June 2016. Photograph: HO/AFP/Getty Images

Jacques Hamel celebrating a mass in June 2016. Photograph: HO/AFP/Getty Images

2473  Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude. “Let me become the food of the beasts, through whom it will be given me to reach God.”