25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Jesus tells the parable of the steward who was fired for squandering his master’s property. The very purpose of a “steward” is to manage well the owner’s property.
Of course, Jesus tells this parable to direct us in how we live as Christians. God has blessed us with various gifts. We are free to choose to do whatever we want we with them but if we want to be good disciples, then we need to be good stewards of what God has given us. This means not to squander away what God has given us. It also means not to use our gifts just for our own gain but for the building up of God’s kingdom.
We each have different gifts. Do you use yours for good?
Just to give a couple of examples in our parish, I’ll mention our Finance Council. It is made up of people with financial backgrounds to help us make sure we use what you have contributed to the parish well. We have our new Building and Grounds made up of an engineer, a carpenter, and a safety manager who also use their experience to help us. On a different note, we have all the people who are good at making crafts who make stuff for our bazaar. Then, there are the people who made the cookies for my presentation last week to whom I say thank you. They also cook for our funeral receptions.
I could continue but I want to focus on a particular group. Today is Catechetical Sunday. A catechist is one who teaches others about our faith. This weekend our first group of catechists go to work as our faith formation programs for children start. The second group is our RCIA catechists who teach those who wish to join our church about what it means to be Catholic.
We should be, at least I know I am, thankful for these volunteers who as good stewards use the skills and knowledge that God has given them to share the faith with others.
If you go and read the Canon Law of our Church or the Catechism you will see that for children, the parents are the ones who hold the primary responsibility for teaching their children about the faith.
This is because parents are the ones who spend every day with their children. You see, teaching children about our faith is not just a question of classroom teaching. Teaching children about our faith means praying together as a family. It means coming to church. It means teaching children how to bless themselves with the holy water when they enter a church.
Then, as they grow comes the “classroom” teaching. Here, the church does not expect parents to do this on their own. Here, our Church says that the parish must help the parents teach their children. If you read Canon Law, it says one of my primary responsibilities as pastor is to see to the catechesis of the people.
The homily is an important part of this. It is the one opportunity I have to address everyone who comes to Mass. I also try to help people grow in faith through the presentations that I do and through my website.
The two groups that most need catechesis are, of course, the children and those new to our faith. It is very important that as a parish, we take our responsibility here very seriously.
It is my responsibility to see to this but I can’t do it myself. For the RCIA program we are so fortunate as to have a few people who lead the sessions and a core team and a leader who run the program as volunteers.
For the faith formation of our children and youth, we have a program that is coordinated by June Sherman who runs these programs full-time. To make the programs possible, she relies on our volunteers who teach several of the classes and lead our Children’s Liturgy of the Word sessions.
We count on these volunteers to make our faith formation programs possible. It would be difficult to have our children’s, youth, or RCIA programs without them. We need to thank them for what they do.
I also want thank everyone who volunteers as a good steward in our parish. I mentioned some earlier. There are others. To all I say thank you.
If you aren’t volunteering in our parish or in our community, pray about what you might do. If you aren’t able to volunteer because of age, illness, or disability there are still two things you can do. First, live our faith in ways that others can see and pray for others to come forward as good stewards of what they have been given.
May we all be good stewards of what God has given us so that the world comes to know God’s kingdom and his will be done.