You Have Been Commissioned

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Feast of the Ascension 2017

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I remember watching part of a college graduation address where the speaker said, “With this degree you are commissioned to go into the world and make a difference.” The imagery conjured up in my mind by the use of the word “commissioned” was pretty powerful. I thought about the commissioning of military officers and the responsibility they took on for the lives of their subordinates but also the lives of those they protected. To me the word meant something very serious and solemn. It meant huge responsibility and expectation.

In the Bible, Jesus gives what we call the Great Commission:

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. (Matt 28:19-20a)

The word commission makes this more than a suggestion or a hope. There is an expectation, a responsibility, and a mandate. Of course, did you wake up this morning thinking about how you would fulfill the Great Commission today?

Sharing the Faith is not just something we should do; it is something we must do. The key is that you don’t need to speak all the time to share. It will be through your life of stewardship that others will be able to see Jesus. By giving of yourself, by always responding to the call, and by surrendering all to God, you will lead others to become disciples, to seek out the sacraments, and to observe His teachings. Yes, responding in full to the Great Commission, great things can happen.

My Part of Everything

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for 2nd Sunday of Lent 2017

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Catherine Doherty said, “Yes, stewardship pertains to everything and I am responsible for my part of that everything.” I am reminded of that quote when I read the words from Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy, “Beloved: Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” Both point to our own responsibility as a disciple, as well as the reality that we are not alone. We live with God in community. We each have our part to play in the Kingdom of God.

Lent is an important time to focus on how our stewardship way of life causes us to sacrifice and, at times, experience hardship. If we find that we never seem to feel our sacrifice, then it is a good time to ask ourselves if we really are fully living as good stewards, cultivating what we have been given and then offering it all back to God. If we only give from our excess, then we will never understand the meaning behind the words of St.Paul and Catherine Doherty.

This is why we must challenge ourselves. We must push ourselves to go that extra mile. It really is a way of exercising our stewardship muscles. So as this Lenten season is still in it’s first weeks, what can you attempt to do that really pushes you out of your comfort zone. Can you double or triple your prayer time during the season? Can you search your household and give to charity more than just things you don’t need anymore, but also things you still want? Is there someone to visit a few times before Easter than can no longer get out? Whatever it is, the strength will come from God to take greater care of your part of His everything.