As Jesus called the disciples to follow him, so he calls us. We have heard his call and it seems to me that if you are reading this column you have responded to this call. All of us are on our own individual journey; due to personal circumstances and our own faith journey we respond differently. After all, each of us are one of the many faces in God’s house. This weekend the homily was about the Four Pillars of Stewardship: hospitality, prayer, formation, and service. Jesus came to show us the loving face of God. There are many different artists who have used their imagination to create a portrait of Jesus. One of my favorites is the smiling Jesus. Jesus created a community of 12 disciples and later a much larger community. He did this with the eyes of love and acceptance.
As church we are called to be the face of Christ for one another. We can do this by practicing the spirit if hospitality; a warm smile can make anyone feel welcomed. The first Pillar of Stewardship is hospitality. Part of hospitality is not only visiting the people we know but risking getting to know others that we might only see in church. Being a church that demonstrates hospitality is sharing with each other our joys and our sorrows; our failures and our successes. It is being a family. Jesus was hospitable.
Jesus was a prayerful man. We are called to be prayerful. Prayer is talking to God. If we feel loved by God, it is logical that we want to pray to God. The Second Pillar of Stewardship is prayer. We have wonderful Masses every weekend and, thanks to Fr. O’Brien, daily Mass. Many people love to spend time adoring the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration. Won’t you make a commitment?
When Jesus was with his disciples, he taught them by word and example. We know some of the great sermons like the Sermon on the Mount where we learn about the Beatitudes. At Prince of Peace we offer Faith Formation from early childhood to adult.
There are many small study groups that help us learn about scripture and our Catholic Faith. We have the Watchmen, Faith on Fire, and so many other opportunities for formation. The Third Pillar of Stewardship, Formation, challenges us to not stop our faith formation as many do with Confirmation, but continue satisfying our hungry heart by allowing the Lord to form us, mold us, and use us as God wills. Won’t you commit to allowing God to form you through taking advantage of the many offerings, study groups, workshops, retreats, and much more that Prince of Peace offers?
The Fourth Pillar of Stewardship is Service. When many of us think of stewardship, we often think of service. Indeed this is an important part of stewardship. But hopefully you are able to understand that each pillar builds on the previous. When we feel loved by God; we desire to pray. When we pray, we are given the desire to learn more about our God. When we learn more about our God, we have the passion to serve our God. Through the Four Pillars of Stewardship we understand that being a good steward is a grateful response to God’s love. Everything we have is a gift. When we return to the Lord a portion of what God has given us we are blessed 100 times over.
Let us all recommit to being a good stewards through filling out the commitment form that will be given to you next weekend. I ask that all of us fill out the front page that asks for name, address, etc. so we will be able keep our parish registry up to date. Please fill out where you might want to give back to the Lord through prayer and service. And I invite you to take a leap of faith and make a commitment to make a tithe to the Lord…no amount is too small. We are the Disciples of Christ. We are a Stewardship Parish. We are the Church of Prince of Peace.