Yes, You Can Serve
One of the more interesting biblical quotes from Jesus Christ is found in the Acts of the Apostles, not in one of the four Gospels. In chapter 20, St. Paul is himself quoted, addressing church elders from Ephesus and sharing the following: “I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You know well that these very hands have served my needs and my companions. In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus.” The Apostle seems to advocate self-reliance, yet clearly preaches a concern for those who are less fortunate and unable to provide for themselves.
The focus is on work and service. But, then St. Paul quotes the Lord. “ ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” When we quote those words, we invariably speak of financial charity, not of work and service. Perhaps we might rethink the emphasis. Each of us is granted some measure of financial blessing, able to share at least a modest amount with the poor and needy. We have also been given tools, skills of great benefit within each parish and in our surrounding communities. We can all give. We can also serve, ministering purposefully as God wills.
THE STEWARD'S BOOKSHELF
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
Growth at Rest
From the Stewardship Today Archives:
Following the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, for a season, the New Testament church enjoyed a time of both peace and prosperity. In the ninth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, Luke writes the following: “The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers.” Very shortly, the Church would once again know great persecution....read more
LOCAL DIOCESAN NEWS
|Ministry and Theology Summer Institute|
STEWARDSHIP: THE LOCAL PARISH
The Catholic Church has enjoyed a significant presence in the Prairieville area since before the Civil War era. Organized mission efforts continued into the century just past, and St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church was established as an independent parish through the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1919. Eleven dozen individual parishioners formed the initial charter. God’s blessing to succeeding generations has been strong, as more than 3,000 registered families now call St. John the Evangelist their home church, serving them, their neighbors, and their growing Ascension Parish community.
A busy Welcoming Committee, Volunteer Babysitting teams, large and healthy Knights of Columbus and Ladies Altar Society groups are but a few of those that serve members, guests and the greater Prairieville area. Parishioners visit the Louisiana Correctional Institute and Hunt Correctional Prison, the parish sends dozens to minister in Honduras, and a variety of caregivers regularly serve the hospitalized and homebound.
For general information or to discover how you and your family might join your fellow Catholics in service and worship at St. John the Evangelist in Prairieville, please visit their engaging and informative website: www.stjohnchurch.org
STEWARDSHIP IN SCRIPTURE
The evening Jesus was betrayed, he provided the apostles a new command, one we follow as faithful Catholics today. It is a picture of devotion, to God and to each other:
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.”
“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
(St. John 13:31-35; New American Bible, Revised Edition)
CATHOLIC SAINTS ON STEWARDSHIP
Familiar words from Doctor of the Church St. Therese of Lisieux direct us to express our love for others, every day and in every way possible:
“Even a little child can scatter flowers, to scent the throne room with their fragrance; even a little child can sing, in its shrill treble, the great canticle of Love. That shall be my life: to scatter flowers—to miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word, always doing the tiniest things right, and doing it for love.”
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“Whatever our bodies may be doing, we should at the same time continually lift up our minds to God, which is the most acceptable form of prayer. For no matter which way we turn our steps, as long as our minds are turned to God, we clearly are not turned away from Him who is present everywhere.”
(St. Thomas More, 1478-1535, English Statesman and Catholic Martyr)