Working Together

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter 2017

family

My children could never succeed without their mother and me. That isn’t me thinking too much of ourselves, it is just a fact. No one can find success in life in total isolation. I could never have become who I am today without my parents, various teachers and mentors, and my wife. Truth be told, I probably owe a lot of who I am to my children as well.

I can only imagine the fear and concern of the first disciples when it was apparent that Jesus was not going to be with them much longer. Some probably thought since Jesus had risen from the dead, he might just live with them in the same way forever. But Jesus tried to calm their fears by assuring them, “I will not leave you orphans.” He said He would continue to come to them and that He would send the Spirit to be with them at all times. They would not have to continue what He had started and preach the Good News to the ends of the earth on their own.

We may sometimes feel that we are alone. We may at times try to do too much or show others that we are independent and strong. However, without the help of others, without the help of God, true success will always elude us. Our actions and words can become empty. The gifts we have received can either be cultivated in secret and in the shadows, or we can welcome the help that God provides in His Spirit, His community, and the sacraments He gave us. By working together the world will truly know the power of the Risen Lord.

Put Down That Water Jar!

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Lent 2017

Christ_and_the_Woman_of_Samaria-Giovanni_Lanfranco

When I think about the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, I think of my father. This Gospel reading that we use every year for the First Scrutiny of the RCIA was always my favorite to discuss with those who be baptized in just a few weeks at the Easter Vigil. Not that many years ago, my father was one of those Elect. That year, the story was more powerful than ever.

The woman went frequently to the well looking to get the water that would sustain her body. But in the story, Jesus tells her of a different kind of water, one that gives life and quenches even the driest of thirsts. The story tells us that she put down her water jar and ran to the town telling of her encounter with the One who may be the Christ. She left that jar at the well. She did not need it anymore.

I encounter people all the time that spend their days going up the hill to draw water. They are tired and spent. My father was one of those. But with the gift of baptismal water, that constant chore is now over. There is no need to travel up that hill.

This Lent, if you are one of the baptized, reclaim the gift of your baptism. Stop climbing that hill in search of something that can only quench your thirst temporarily. You encountered Christ and have the everlasting, living water already. Put down that water jar. Your new life has only just begun.