November 19, 2017

I.  Gratitude IS Good Medicine! People who have developed the virtue of gratitude are not only happier people, they also tend to be healthier. Gratitude is good medicine. Gratitude is not just a feeling that comes and goes like other emotions; it is an attitude that recognizes and receives every good thing in our lives—some of which is born from life’s “not so good” experiences—as pure GIFT. While gratitude cannot be forced, it CAN be cultivated. Why not commit to bringing your family or a friend to Thanksgiving Day Mass on Thursday, November 23rd at 8:00 a.m. Bring a bag of non-perishable food for those not so blessed.

II.  The Naked Truth! What is your definition of Church? A big part of “belonging” to the Church, the “People of God,” is sharing your life, sharing who you are and what you have. Let’ face it, I will be accountable for how I have used everything God gave me. The naked truth is: Everything I have belongs to God. That’s the heart and soul of stewardship. So I have a need to share my time, my talents, and yes, even my money. This doesn’t make sense at all unless it is connected to faith, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and his Church.

“The biggest mistake people make is that they think stewardship is a finance program. It’s not. It’s much more. It’s a spirituality program.” (Msgr. Thomas McCread).

If you have not been involved, start somewhere. Get involved in one of our ministries. We can certainly use more people to work in the social concerns out reach ministries; we need more Ministers of Care to visit and take Communion to the sick and shut-ins; RCIA involvement; we need people with technology skills; we need more liturgical ministers (cantors, music ministers, hospitality ministers, lectors, servers, Eucharistic Ministers, sacristans), etc.

Please return your stewardship form by Thanksgiving Day!  Extra packets are available in the vestibule or the parish office, or you can sign up online from our website. As of this writing, Monday, November 13th, we have 104 families who have responded.

III. Kiosk in our Vestibule: for your spiritual growth (indeed, oil for your lamps, last Sunday’s Gospel, Mt. 25:1-13):  books, pamphlets, CD’s : The Mass Explained, Why the Church Matters; Anger & Forgiveness; Mary; Heroes of the Reformation; The Treasure of our Soul; Living Life by Design not by Default; How To Make A Good Confession; Your Questions: God’s Answer. . .are just a few.  Another resource of abundant materials for growth and available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (during office hours) is our Media Center in our office building.

A Prayer

         Where should I begin, Jesus, to unclutter my life? I have yielded to temptation and filled my days with more commitments that I can comfortably manage. Help me to make myself a little less busy.  Free my time.

         I have crowded my space with too much baggage: with gadgets and conveniences and possessions. Help me to let go of whatever I cling to.  Free my hands.

         I have filled my head with trivial distractions: News and weather, gossip and prejudices. Help me to focus on more important concerns.  Free my mind.

Jesus, my life is cluttered with more idols than I realized. I have given them a reverence they do not deserve. Teach me to renounce their claim on me, and end my divided allegiance. Guide me to a simpler life and more generous service. Amen.                      Bishop Kenneth E. Untener, 1937-2004