Hearts Fully Committed
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The Gospel for this 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time is often referred to as the “Story of the Dishonest Steward.” It might seem on the surface that the parable is advocating dishonesty in order to ensure one’s security. That is not at all what Jesus is suggesting. But he is pointing out that for many folks, the creative thinking and concerted efforts directed to preserving worldly wealth is often greater that the creative thinking and concerted effort in preserving what will endure for eternity. Jesus’ main message is that you “cannot serve two masters… you cannot serve both God and mammon.” Mammon in the bible means earthly goods, property or riches.
Each year the parish Finance Council, the Leadership Team and I spend time carefully discerning how we will commit our financial resources to effectively fund the various parish ministries in accord with the parish’s mission. There is an adage that states, “no margin, no mission,” which means that if you don’t take in enough revenue to meet expenses you cannot serve the ministries for which the organization exists. While certainly that saying is true, ministry in the Church cannot be reduced only to finances.
I am convinced that hearts fully committed to Christ and his Church will provide more than enough to serve the mission given by Jesus. If we have difficulty funding our ministries, we have to ask two key questions. First, are we being good stewards of what is donated so that people are confident that their gifts are being used wisely for the intended purpose? Secondly, have the hearts of donors been sufficiently converted so that they understand that all they have is a gift from God; and that their gifts are meant to serve God’s divine will for their family, parish and community?
Parish leadership is charged with addressing both of these questions. Please pray for me and the other parish leaders, so that we exercise both of these responsibilities consistently well.
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,