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Homily on Helping the Poor

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Wisdom 7:7-11
Hebrews 4:12-13
Mark 10:17-30
October 14, 2012

Stewardship Commitment Sunday

“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

It’s a question many of us might like to ask.  We want to be with God.  We have been created to be with God in Heaven.

Jesus’ immediate answer is to keep the commandments (which is something we should all do).  The man says he has indeed observed all the moments.

Jesus then (out of love) says “you are lacking in one thing, Go, sell what you have and give to the poor.”  We are told this was incredibly difficult for the man “for he had many possessions.”

We certainly should think about our priorities.  How important are our possessions to us?  Is God our priority or are things our priority?  Are we willing to use what we have to help the poor?

Now, often the question of helping others focuses on money (our treasure).  But that isn’t the only thing we have been given that we can use to help others.

We each have been something we are good at.  We are each gifted in some way.  In stewardship terms, we call these “talents.”  We might have talents that we don’t even see as such.   

Good stewardship is about taking the gifts we have been given (time, talent, and treasure) and using them to help other people.  It isn’t something we do once in a while but something we should be mindful all the time.  It’s a way of life.

To do this we count on the Holy Spirit to give us the gift of wisdom to realize the gifts we have.  We also count on the gifts of understanding and prudence to use the gifts we have been giving in accord with God’s Will.

We do this in different ways.  Perhaps we use our talents at work to help other people at work.  I think here of those working in the medical field or teaching for instance who see the good of the people they serve as their motivation and aren’t out just for money or an easy job.

Parents can use their gifts in caring for their children, a very important job.  Other people might help care for elderly parents.

Others might help their neighbor or volunteer for community organizations.

Then, there are the people who use their gifts here in our parish.  It takes many people working together to make possible what we do.

This is evident in the Mass itself.  Mass is not a one-person show.  Besides me, we have Sacristans, Lectors, Ministers of Communion, Ushers, Altar Servers, and Musicians.  Multiple people using what they have given to help make our Mass what it is meant to be.  By the way, we can always use more people in these roles.  We especially need more cantors for all the Masses and some altar servers especially at the 4:30 Mass.

But Mass is not the only thing we do around here.  That is a lot that goes on here.  You should have received our Annual Stewardship Commitment Form in the mail by now.  If you haven’t, there are a few copies near the entrances.  The form lists many of the opportunities to minister in our parish using your gifts.  There are also some brochures that provide brief descriptions of the ministries.

The forms certainly are an opportunity for you to volunteer for new ministries.  But we also ask that you fill them out to list the ministries you are currently involved in for two reasons.  One, it helps us make sure our lists are current but it can also serve as your own personal commitment to continue to serve using the gifts you have been given.

So, look at the lists.  Some things don’t require much time.  For instance being a Lector or Altar Server requires only a little time beyond Mass itself.

There are various committees like Parish Council and Evangelization that help set direction for or put into action our future.

There are people who bring Communion to the homebound.  It might be just to one person but that one person greatly appreciates it.

You could help with our youth groups.  

You could help our Service Team with our Giving Tree at Christmas.  Or hospitality at our coffee hours or something as simple as stuffing envelopes.

Do you have a little more time?  How about helping our Food Pantry or our gift shop?  

What can you do to make a difference?

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