In the First Reading for last Sunday’s Mass we heard the story of Naaman the Aramean. Naaman was afflicted with leprosy and with the assistance of Elisha the prophet and with God’s grace, he is healed of this terrible disease. He responds to this tremendous gift of healing by pledging to worship no other god other than the God of Israel and to make sacrifices to Him in thanksgiving.
In this brief passage from scripture we see the heart of what stewardship is – a recognition that everything we have that is good comes from the hands of God and from that gratitude to give generously to others and to God Himself. This understanding of true stewardship is integral to our understanding of ourselves as disciples of Christ, in their Pastoral Letter on stewardship, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote, “Jesus not only calls people to Him but also forms them and sends them out in His service. He knows our personal histories, our strengths and weaknesses, our destinies; he has a purpose in mind for each one of us. Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ leads naturally to the practice of stewardship. These linked realities; discipleship and stewardship, then make up the fabric of a Christian life in which each day is lived in an intimate, personal relationship with the Lord” (Stewardship a Disciple’s Response).
St. Mary’s will be conducting its annual Fall Stewardship Appeal over the coming weeks and you will shortly be receiving, in the mail, information on stewardship and how you can take a part in supporting St. Mary’s financially. The letters should be arriving in the final days of October or early November and we hope to have pledge cards returned in the regular collection or by being mailed or dropped off to the Rectory by November 6th. As a thank you, we’ll be hosting Doughnut Sunday on November 13th.
We are blessed to have a history here at St. Mary’s of parishioners with a deep sense of generosity who have willingly and lovingly given to help their parish be what it is today. Can I ask you to make sure to take a few moments when the letter arrives to read it through? Then, spend some time in prayer and examine what God has given you and decide from that realization what you may be able to give to support the parish over the course of the coming year. Unlike businesses which have products to sell, the parish relies solely on the good will and generosity of its parishioners to supports its ministries and operations - it relies on you! Thank you for all you do for St. Mary’s and the multitude of ways you support St. Mary’s with your time, talent and treasure!