My Dear Sisters and Brothers,
If your calendar looks like mine, we all know everything is shifting back into high gear this month. Most vacations are over. (Full disclosure: I will be away on vacation Sept. 6–15. The summer has been too busy with all the school projects.) Schools are back in session. Clubs, organizations, and ministries are back at work full-time. Life is suddenly more beautifully hectic. As I looked at the calendar for September, I remembered some of the important feast days coming up this month and noticed several connections to living stewardship as a way of life.
First, the Feast Day of St. Teresa of Calcutta on Sept. 5. Small in stature, but so very Catholic in everything she represented and did, Mother Teresa is an important part of our perception of what it means to be Catholic and Christian. It is difficult to believe that she will have been gone for 26 years. She was the absolute epitome of what it means to be Catholic, to love, and to serve. She represented a living example of stewardship in our lifetimes, sharing her time in prayer, her talent in service and the treasure of her life given away in humble service of the most needy. What she had to say about our lives and how we should live them became some of the more quotable illustrations of living stewardship that we reflect upon today. For example, she said, “It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” That is our challenge, to do everything we do with love.
Then, on Sept. 14, we celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The Cross has enormous meaning to us as Catholics. How many times do we make the Sign of the Cross to signify the Holy Trinity and to remember that the Cross represents so much to us? It is a renewal of our Baptism every time we make the Sign of the Cross. More than 1,700 years ago, St. Helen discovered the true cross in Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was built on that spot, and it was dedicated in September 335, thus our veneration of the Cross on Sept. 14.
When we make the Sign of the Cross, we are also indicating our discipleship, our pledge to be good stewards. Whether it is in our labors that we glorify God, in serving the Lord and others with love, or constantly reminding ourselves of Christ’s salvation of us on the Cross, we need to continually rededicate ourselves to service and stewardship.
We must also include our parish patron, Saint Michael in the archangels. I’m especially mindful of how his protection has guided us these past six months and the work of expanding our parish school and welcoming many new families and students. This will have a great impact on our parish life as we work together striving for faithful stewardship.
Therefore, let us be alive with new fire in our dedication to set a time daily for prayer. Let us be alive with new fire in our serving others both in parish ministries and in our Thurston County community. Let us be alive with new fire in sharing our financial resources generously for the mission of Jesus Christ. Let us embrace a mindset of abundance, not of scarcity, because God is the giver of all good gifts. Mother Teresa knew this to the depth of her being.
This month — when we strive to be alive with new fire in our parish — is a good time to recommit ourselves to stewardship as a way of life. St. Teresa of Calcutta also said, “The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”
In Christ, through the intercession of
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I love you.