Today now more than ever we need to be sharing the Good News to a world that is evermore in need. The Good News, of course, is that Jesus Christ suffered, died, and is risen for us. He has set us free from the bondage of sin and opened the gates of heaven for his faithful. Having received this Good News, we are called to bear it and preach it with our very lives. This Kerygma (think: proclamation) is one of the main purposes for our lives. We are not to keep it to ourselves.
This past weekend, Fr. Nguyen and I spoke about our Parish Offertory Program. Each year, we set aside time to ponder on how we can proclaim and live out this Good News. It challenges us to deeply know this immense gift, and respond in gratitude. This is where the term, Stewardship, is of great help. To be a steward is to be one who tends rather than owns. It is a response of gratitude for all that we have been given. If we think about it, all that we have, all that we are is a gift from God. Our response of gratitude is how we proclaim or live out the Kerygma.
Stewardship, therefore, is the tending of the gifts of time, talent, treasure, and tradition which we have all been given. What gifts have you been given and how are you sharing them? What abilities have you been given which can be used to share the love of Jesus? What financial gifts have you been blessed with which can be used to further the mission (again think, Kerygma) of the Church, and specifically St. Anne’s?
Each year, I ask us all to ponder on these things and be prepared to make an annual commitment of stewardship to your parish community. That means you may want to try something new by getting involved in a different ministry. It may be the call to change your financial giving by examining if you are simply offering a tip like being at a restaurant or are making a faith-filled sacrifice based on a percentage of your income. The things we value we invest in. So, we should consider the Church to be of great importance and examine truly the value we place on our parish church. Regarding tradition, ask yourself how you are sharing the beauty of the traditions which have been handed on to you? Maybe that might mean inviting a neighbor to join you to go to Mass or a bible study, or the the Altar Society, or the Funeral Reception Committee. There’s just so many ways to share our amazing traditions.
The Good News of Jesus Christ has transformed the world for two millennia, and we have been entrusted to share and participate in the ministries which are present at St. Anne’s in order to proclaim (Kerygma) it. So, this week you will receive a brochure which will detail some more ideas about our Parish Offertory Program. Read it and review the sample Commitment Card which is at the back of the brochure. Next week, I will be leading us all, during the homily time, to make a new or renewed commitment to St. Anne’s and our ministries. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to talk with me, Fr. Nguyen, or Stephen Voehl, our business manager.
Fr. William Holtzinger