Ordinary Time, 30th Sunday (C) St. Paul was a Pharisee. He did all the right things but his heart was not in the right place. Perhaps he would go to the temple and pray, "O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity --greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector."
Then God opened his eyes to the true state of his soul. He realized he was, "a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man." I imagine that he came to the Temple and prayed, "O God, be merciful to me a sinner." He discovered that Jesus knew all his faults and failings and still wanted a friendship with him.
Paul prayerfully discerned a call to be a missionary. He traveled through Turkey, Greece and Rome inviting others to experience new life in Christ. As his life reached its end he could look back and say, "I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith." His heart has been changed into the heart of a servant, a heart that is humble, grateful, and generous. He is ready to enter God's kingdom.
This weekend is our Stewardship Commitment Sunday. We are asking everyone to turn in a pledge card with one commitment in each of the three areas: Time, Talent, and Treasure. I pause several times to let people fill out their cards. In the end, we need to remember that Stewardship is not fundamentally how much we give. We could fall into the trap of the Pharisee -- doing the right things but for the wrong reason. May this Stewardship Renewal help each of us develop the heart of a servant: a heart that is humble, grateful, and generous.
(24 Oct 2022)
Going Deeper: If you are local to the Antigo area, take a look it the "Called to Serve" Ministry Booklet for 2023. Take time to complete a Commitment Card. We are grateful for the hard work of Shari and the whole team at Catholic Stewardship Consultants.
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