Sunday, October 2, 2016

Stewardship.

Thank you Father Don and all of you in the congregation for this opportunity to speak before you.  I want to begin this talk with a story I found on the internet.

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.

Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.

In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened.

He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door.

As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap, and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.

She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked:

“What happened here today?’”

She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?”

“Yes,” was his incredulous reply.    She answered, ‘”Well, today I didn’t do it.”

This cute little story makes us chuckle but it also illustrates something that was true in my own life.  When my wife and I got married I went from being a bachelor traveling alone across the East Coast, living out of hotels with room service and continental breakfasts, to a father of four.  My idea of helping was picking up the kids from the babysitter after work, stopping at McDonald’s to get dinner on the way home, or maybe using my elbow to nudge her ever so gently awake when the baby started crying at 2:00 in the morning.  

Then, as most of you know, in 2007 I had my spine fused.  I went from being someone who worked outside the home to Mr. Mom.  It was then I found out just how much had to be done.  From the obvious daily chores of dusting, sweeping, mopping, and cleaning; to the ones I had not put much thought into.   The doctor’s appointments, the after school practices, band rehearsals, concerts,  from theatre practices that lasted well after the time they were supposed to end, to emergency shopping trips for those things that were supposed to be picked up weeks ago and needed to be done “right now!”

Along the way I learned something that I wish I had put into practice years before.   Things are much more pleasant when everyone in the house pitches in.   It’s very hard for one person to do it all.  Granted, as the kids were growing up there were different things they could not do, yet there was alway something they could help with.  A home is a beautiful place though when everyone is helping.   

We here in this room are gathered to worship God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.   We too are a family.  This building is our home.  As a member of the buildings and grounds committee I have seen first hand just how much work goes into keeping this place running.   We have volunteers who come in every week to clean up the messes that inadvertently get made in that celebration.  We have men and women who get up here and proclaim the Word of God as lectors.   Our worship is enhanced by the beautiful music of the choir.  We also have people who come and fold up the brochures that we are about to talk about.   

Just like the home that we live in, we are each asked to do something to help take the burden off the others who live in the house with us.   Now you may not be the kind of person who is comfortable getting up here and giving a talk, I understand that.  But each of you is unique and wonderfully made!   You have been given gifts and talents that make you who you are.   Today we are asking you to give back to God and your church family by choosing just one way in which you can use those talents to help others.   In the second reading St. Paul encourages Timothy to use his gifts to help share in the burden of the Gospel, and we are challenged to do the same here today.  Whether that is in cooking a dish for funeral lunches, standing in a room full of kids as an aide in Religious Education, or washing some linens once in awhile… we need you.   You make us more complete.   

So let’s talk about these time and talent cards that you’ll find at the end of your pews.  

  • Notice there are two forms: Adult and Youth.
  • Please look through the form and prayerfully consider an area that you might be willing to explore
  • Don’t try to take on too much.  If every person takes just one area we will have more than enough.
  • If you are already doing something, please fill out the form anyway!   That way we know if you want to continue doing it.  
  • If you’d like to try something new, or to step down from one of the things you are doing now, make sure to fill that out as well.
  • If you are confirmed you can be a Eucharistic Minister or a Lector, we also need Altar Servers!
  • If you need more time feel free to take it home with you and pray and think about it.
  • Also, grab a ministry directory from the greeters at the door.  The names of all those who have stepped up to lead the different committees are in there.  Call them up, ask them about it, see how you can help.  
  • Thank you for your time.  May God bless you.