Like the good Catholic you are I'm sure you've been following the Pope's visit here to the USA. It brings me comfort when I hear him speak about discipleship and the call of stewardship. While he might not use the word 'stewardship' his message is all about stewardship. Let me share with you his stewardship message from Tuesday's speeches:
Pope Francis Address to US Bishops
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"Ours must not be just any kind of prayer, but familiar union with Christ, in which we daily encounter his gaze and sense that he is asking us the question: “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” (Mark 3:31-34). One in which we can calmly reply: “Lord, here is your mother; here are your brothers! I hand them over to you; they are the ones whom you entrusted to me.”
Such trusting union with Christ is what nourishes the life of a pastor. It is not about preaching complicated doctrines, but joyfully proclaiming Christ, who died and rose for our sake. The “style” of our mission should make our hearers feel that the message we preach is meant for us."
Pope Francis is calling our Bishops to a life of Stewardship! He's asking them to make a return to the Lord with us, their sheep.
“Lord, here is your mother; here are your brothers! I hand them over to you; they are the ones whom you entrusted to me.”
This is a stewardship message: Everything we have is God's. He entrusts us with our family, our parish, our jobs, our money...and we are to hand them over to God.
If this is confusing, think of it the other way. What aspects of your life do you not allow God to help with? How's that working out for you? Think of those people who need full control and only trust in themselves. Eventually they lose control and their world comes crashing down. Now think of those who let God take control, who have full trust in God. Doesn't their life just seem peachy? Of course they have troubles and trials, but because God is a part of their life, all things are possible.
Pope Francis' Homily at Beatification of St. Junipero Serra
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A Christian finds joy in mission: Go out to people of every nation!
A Christian experiences joy in following a command: Go forth, and proclaim the good news!
A Christian finds ever new joy in answering a call: Go forth, and anoint!
My favorite stewardship bible verse is Matthew 28:19-20.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to close of the age.
I love this verse because not only does it give us direction 1) Go 2) Make disciples 3) Baptize them 4)Teach them. But it also comforts us by knowing He is with us always.
When we recognize God's gifts and nurture them according to God's will we are living this verse. We are being the Christian Pope Francis mentioned who finds joy in mission, following the command and answering the call.
Also when Pope Francis says,
Mission is never the fruit of a perfectly planned program or a well-organized manual. Mission is always the fruit of a life which knows what it is to be found and healed, encountered and forgiven. Mission is born of a constant experience of God’s merciful anointing.
We are reminded of that person who doesn't have full trust in God. I'm sure almost every Catholic can say their relationship with God bloosomed when they were wounded and ran to God to help them. When they were forgiven by God for their sins. Their perfect plan didn't work. We learn how to live Matthew 28:19-20, we learn how to live our mission when allow ourselves to become vulnerable and experence God's love and mercy.
Please pray for the mission God has for you and the courage you need to live that mission.
Your Steward in Christ,
**At a later date I hope to write more on each of Pope Francis' speeches, but for timing I wanted to be sure you kept an eye and an ear on the message of Stewardship he shares with each of us.
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