An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for 2nd Sunday of Easter / Divine Mercy Sunday 2017
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio
Due to the constant unchecked flow of data and information through the Internet, it can be hard to know when a story is real news or rubbish. It never ceases to amaze me when someone I know has bought into some crazy fake news story. Sometimes the story is just so unbelievable: celebrities who gained 200 pounds in a month, women having babies who were never pregnant, or people actually being seen who are dead! Like Elvis!
The apostle Thomas found the news that Jesus was alive just too far-fetched to believe. But he didn’t first hear the news on the Internet or read it standing in the grocery store checkout line. His friends told him. His fellow apostles told him they had actually seen the Lord with their own eyes. Their testimony was not enough. He needed proof.
The Resurrection of Jesus gives us not only hope, but also a reason to be His disciples. We have not seen with our own eyes, but like Thomas, we have a community, the Church, that has relayed the truth to us. This same Jesus now calls us to go forth to spread the Gospel. More unbelievable than that, we have through the gifts we have been given, a chance to change and even save lives. The day may come that you, moved by this news of the Risen Lord, will be an agent of His love to the point where someone will tell the tale that you, a follower of Jesus, actually helped to change his or her life. Pretty unbelievable, right?
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for Holy Week 2017
As a Catholic, I am very grateful for the wonderful expression of the Mass. When united in this liturgical experience, we are not only present to the reality of the bread and wine becoming the real presence of Jesus, but are also connected spiritually to the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper AND to the future heavenly banquet at the end of time. During the Eucharistic Prayer, this is a time to be truly as mindful as we can to what is happening in our midst. Our effort to completely surrender ourselves to the moment is a true act of stewardship.
When we hear the Gospel reading of the Passion and Death of Jesus at Mass, we are also being called to give of ourselves completely to the moment and to be truly caught up in the story. We should strive to be there at the events of over 2000 years ago, but also to what the reality of those events mean for us today. To do this effectively, we need to spend more time reflecting on the dynamics of the events of Jesus’ Passion. Hopefully, our Lent has been fruitful and we have spent time with devotions like the Stations of the Cross. Maybe we have taken time to read Scripture slowly and deliberately, taking time to let each aspect sink into out mind and spirit. If Lent has been instead a time of too much business and not much prayer and reflection, the good news is that it is never too late.
During this Holy Week, take some time to enter into the story of the Passion. Good stewardship calls us to not only give of that which can be seen, but also that which cannot be seen. Surrender your mind, body, and spirit to Jesus. He carries His cross before you and beckons you to follow Him.