TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
16 SEPTEMBER 2018
Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They respond that the gossip circles are saying that he might be Elijah, or John the Baptist, or one of the prophets. The expectation is that he will be a powerful leader who will overcome the Romans, their current oppressors. Peter blurts out the correct answer: “You are the Christ.” However, Peter has the same expectation about a messiah. He rebukes Jesus when he defines his role in terms of suffering and death. In turn, Jesus rebukes Peter and says to him, “Get behind me, Satan.”
Even those Jesus rebukes Peter harshly and says that he is tempting him to disobey his Father’s will, he tells Peter to get behind him. In other words, he wants Peter to continue to follow him and to learn the difficult lessons of the cross.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we have also chosen to “get behind” and follow him. Like Peter, we find the message of the cross to be very difficult. That is why I have come to embrace stewardship as a way of life, as a structured way of getting behind Jesus Christ. Good stewards spend generous amounts of time in prayer, with the Eucharist as the source and summit of our lives of faith. Good stewards give themselves in humble service, as our Lord washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper. Good stewards share a generous portion of their treasure with the Body of Christ, and not just what is left over. Jesus clearly said that it is by your love for one another that everyone will recognize you as my disciples. Stewardship, simply, is love in action.
We renewed our stewardship of prayer at Lent and our stewardship of service during the Easter Season. This weekend, we invite you to make a commitment to sharing a sacrificial gift with the parish. Please read the information in your stewardship of sacrificial giving packet and pray over your decision. Currently, Saint Pius tithes 5% of our income to Saint Adalbert and another 3 ½% to those who come to us in need. Pray over your decision and set aside a portion for the Annual Bishop’s Appeal.
You would expect me to say these things. But, please listen to Brian Jacobs, as he tells his story of coming to embrace stewardship as a way of life.