Stewardship of Mercy

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2017

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The Jubilee Year of Mercy is now in the history books and looking back I wonder if I have been changed at all by the observance. Certainly the focus on mercy wasn’t all about God’s mercy toward me? Yes, I focused on my sin and the need for God’s forgiveness and grace, but hopefully that changed how I live my life and how I offer mercy to others.

The mercy we receive from God is not something we are to keep bottled up or hidden from others. Jesus taught us to treat others the way we would like to be treated and to love everyone, even our enemies. When Jesus healed the Canaanite woman I wonder what she did next. I would hope she in turn offered mercy and healing to others. Of course, I know she was imperfect just like me so I am sure in no time she was back to needing the mercy of Jesus. Her demon was gone, but there is always a new evil around every corner.

However, the fact that we are a broken people always in need of mercy does not lessen the command for us to offer mercy. Mercy is a gift like so many others that God lavishes on us with great generosity. We are called to cultivate this and share it with others as well. If we cannot do that then what was the real effect of God’s mercy in our lives? If we do not allow God to change us into more generous stewards ready to offer mercy and love to all, then perhaps we are fooling ourselves that we are true disciples of Jesus at all.

 

A Glimpse of Heaven

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for Transfiguration of the Lord, August 6, 2017           

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There are times in our lives that we get the chance to see a glimpse of heaven. It may be through the love of another, loved one or stranger. Sometimes it may even be an event that seems unexplainable, perhaps even supernatural. These occurrences may be the answer to prayer or they may surprise us by coming out of nowhere. But no matter their nature or origin, they give us hope and strength to carry on through life.

When we journey on a pathway of stewardship, we are bound to experience moments of grace where we see even the smallest seeds we planted grow into something amazing. At these moments, we are reminded that God is real and that our stewardship is not in vain. The giving of our gifts and talents are not just a response to God’s calling. The giving is one way that God breaks through into the lives of others. As we use what God has given us for his glory, he uses us as instruments of grace to be truly present to others.

The greatest example of this occurs at the Mass. Through the hands of an ordained priest taking the gifts of bread and wine God is really present with us. When we then take Christ into our bodies, we accept the offer to take him into the world to others. The world cannot see Jesus in us with human eyes, but through our works of stewardship, they can see Jesus in us. One could say they even have a chance to see a glimpse of heaven.