An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2017
Sometimes I wonder what this world will look like when my children get to be my age. Everything seems to be changing so rapidly and much of that change doesn’t seem to be for the good. I do think in some ways the Church is experiencing a resurgence and strengthening, but it will have to in the face of an increasing culture of atheism and selfishness.
Of course, I bet my parents wondered the same thing when I was a child. As much as things change, they remain the same. When Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount, I would guess some parents there were having the same kind of worries. But Jesus proposed a way of life in the Beatitudes that was counter cultural then and is counter cultural now.
In his book, Life of Christ, Fulton Sheen said this: “The Sermon on the Mount is so much at variance with all that our world holds dear that the world will crucify anyone who tries to live up to its values.” Living a stewardship way of life means bringing the Beatitudes into our daily lives in a profound way. However, it also means living in a way that others may not understand or they may even turn away from us because of it. But with the reward in the end being the Kingdom of Heaven, the choice is really a matter of life and death, eternally speaking.
There seems to be much going on in our world right now about standing up for what is right and spreading a message of love rather than hate. Regardless of who you want to point the finger at as a source of hate, the reality is that we all need to be mindful of the barriers in our hearts and minds to truly giving love without limits. Each of us is one sinner among sinners. But we do need to take a stand when extremes threaten to choke one’s ability to love.
One great campaign, especially from a Catholic point-of-view, is the #LoveLikeFranciscampaign which offers people inexpensive posters, t-shirts, stickers, and more with great slogans and images championing attitudes voiced by Pope Francis. As a Catholic or a Christian it is not possible to align ourselves with every group that speaks of love for some of those also include platforms that are anti-religious or anti-Christian. But with campaigns like this we can remind people of the fundamental command to love our neighbor and the need to safeguard the human dignity of everyone. Sure, at the end of the day these are really just catchy slogans on fabric or paper. They don’t produce real change in themselves. But they are one additional way of spreading the Good News about a God who calls us to care for each other. If that’s our goal, I think we can use all the help we can get.