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Dear Friends,
This is our 3rd and final weekend of Stewardship Renewal. First, let me express my thanks to all those who contributed to the Ministry Fair last weekend. These include the planners, those who set up (and cleaned up), those who hosted and those who staffed the individual tables, sharing information about their particular ministries. It took a great deal of effort on the part of so many. I want to say a special word of thanks to Deacon Nick DeLucca and Deacon Bob Liwanag who did all of the coordination and a lot of the physical work as well. A big thank you to one and all.

Let’s revisit what Stewardship is. Stewardship is a disciple’s response. Response to what? To the call of Christ to follow Him. Now there are many ways to respond to that call. If we try to follow the commandments as our response, that might be called an ethical/moral response. Many people do this. You know, the ones who say I try to be a good person. That’s true, but that’s not much different than our good Jewish neighbors. Then, there are those who know that being a disciple directly relates me to Jesus, and so these are regular worshippers, coming to the Eucharist to be fed at the table of the Lord. This is another level of response.

Yet another level of response is lived by those who want to see their whole lives in relationship to the God who gives life, sustains us in that life and leads us through that life to His eternal Kingdom. They want to be His witnesses in the world, so that others may come to know Him in the same way and they want their relationship with Him to grow everyday.

It is this last level that hits on what Stewardship is all about. It is a path which seeks to integrate faith into every aspect of life so that God is not boxed into one corner. And Stewardship, as a response to Jesus’ call, offers three ways to integrate God and life this way, through of use of Time, Talent and Treasure. Two weekends ago, I wrote about the Stewardship of Time, most especially, the time we give to God in prayer. In comparison with everything else we do, do we really give God the time that shows our love, gratitude and devotion to God in our lives? Last week we reflected on Talent, the way we put our gifts to use to build up the Kingdom of God. Do we add our goodness to the goodness of the community (parish) so that the goodness of the parish may shine as a witness to Christ’s love in the world?

This week, I ask you to reflect on Treasure, how you use the material blessings to build that same Kingdom. We all know the deteriorated conditions of our world, the sufferings around us, the loss of jobs and reserves and retirement funds. We all know how many, maybe including yourself, struggle to maintain their lifestyle, or better, their hopes and dreams for their, and their children’s future. It is not an easy time.

The Stewardship of Treasure simply asks two questions, do I give back to God some of the material blessings I have received for the spreading of the Gospel and the Kingdom? And is what I give back a true sign of thankfulness for those gifts? I can’t answer that question for you, only you can do that. But I can say that the act of giving is itself a means of closeness to God because it should express that thankfulness, it should express that trust that God does care for you, it should express that commitment to spread the Kingdom of God through the work of the Church, both locally and around the world. Does your weekly gift really express that kind of thankfulness, or is it a last minute decision based on what you have in your pocket at Mass time?

Giving is a spiritual action, just as praying is, just as visiting the sick, or proclaiming the word of God, or bringing Communion to a shut-in. It becomes a spiritual action when we see it as an act of thanksgiving and when we see it as a way to announce Jesus as Lord and Messiah. St. Paul, in today’s 2nd Reading, thanks the community for caring for his needs and reminds them, in his prayer, that God will supply whatever they need. In the Book of Leviticus, God assures us He will not be outdone in His generosity.

This weekend, reflect a little on the Stewardship of your Treasure and ask yourself if it is all that for you. It can be.

Your Stewardship of Time and your Stewardship of Treasure is a personal decision between yourself and your God. But the Stewardship of Talent is a very public action because it involves the life of the community. Last week, I asked everyone to visit the Ministry Fair, learn more about how Mount Carmel witnesses to the love of God in the world, and see if there is some talent or gift you might offer and use to help that witness grow and deepen. This weekend is Commitment Weekend, where we ask you to make that commitment. Cards are in the pews, please consider making a commitment and then drop the card in either the collection basket or in the boxes at the doors of the church. I know God will increase your faith and be an ever greater presence in your journey through life.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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