All is Gift
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus tells us to give due respect to those in authority, but not to imitate hypocrisy. The Jewish leaders “have taken their seat on the chair of Moses”, and thus, they possess authority, and the Jews were to obey their teaching of the Law. But Jesus warns that just because they hold an important position, does not mean that we should always imitate their actions. They might not practice what they preach.
In the New Testament Letter of James we hear, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.” What is important is that we not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk. We must put our faith into practice.
This weekend we are kicking off our annual stewardship appeal here at Ascension. Each year we invite parishioners to embrace a spirituality of stewardship, that is, to see all that we have as a gift from God and to use those gifts responsibly and in accord with God’s purposes. The theme of this year’s appeal is “One Bread… One Body”, reminding us that we are united in Christ, and we are all members of His body, the Church. We all have a role to play in the mission of the parish.
The American Bishops in their Pastoral Letter on Stewardship said, “The Christian steward is one who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord.”
When we speak of being a good steward here at Ascension we do not refer only to your financial support of the parish, which of course is important, but also to your active participation in parish life. I encourage everyone here at Ascension to be generous, not only with your treasure, but with your time and talent as well. Share your gifts so that the whole body of Christ will benefit.
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life,