Happy 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time!
In many churches this particular Sunday is also known as "Stewardship Sunday." While there are many definitions and approaches to Stewardship, there are two that I personally like. One comes from the two words that actually make up the word Stewardship - Sty-ward. These two words generally mean "Keeper of the House." We are the keepers of the House of the Lord. The Stewards of the House of the Lord. Another definition that I have personally come to love is that "Stewardship means that we are entrusted with the gifts of the Lord." Stewardship is not ownership. Everything that we have belongs to God. Everything that we receive is a gift from the Lord. Everything that we receive is entrusted to us. In my personal life, everything does not belong to me; I own nothing - everything is entrusted to me. Everything belongs to God. For me personally this is great way of looking at things. Everything that I care for right now belongs to God. I am right now entrusted with this most beautiful parish. I am entrusted with the care of the souls of our parishioners. I am entrusted with the care of my rectory, my staff, my deacons and Fr. Ricardo. I am entrusted with 2 wonderful dogs. I am entrusted with a 68 Mustang and a 1951 Mack firetruck. I am entrusted with a cabin on 3 acres. I am entrusted with being an available Fire Chaplain. I am entrusted with being an available Police Chaplain. One day it all goes back to God and is en- trusted to others. My sincere hope is that it returns a little bit better to both God and to the next person.
I would encourage you on this Stewardship Sunday to prayerfully consider what your definition and approach to Stewardship is. I would encourage you to get online and read the Bishop's Pastoral Letter on Stewardship that was written many years ago. It is a great read and very concise. Let's all continue to be good stewards of those gifts that God has entrusted us with.