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LOCAL DIOCESAN NEWS

Televised Mass

Catholic Life Television broadcasts the Tuesday Midday Mass, live from St. Joseph Cathedral at 12 Noon, and rebroadcasts the service at 6 PM and 10:30 PM. Visit www.catholiclifetv.org for a variety of daily Catholic programming.

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For the convenience of our readers, a four-page, abridged set of monthly Stewardship Today articles is available as a downloadable PDF file.

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Planned Giving

How To Keep Your Documents Safe

What Should and Should Not Go in a Safe-Deposit Box


Where do you keep important documents such as your will, mortgage papers and birth certificates? Are they tucked away in a desk drawer or stuffed into your filing cabinet? There’s a better place for them.

Read more . . .

And, for additional information concerning Diocese of Baton Rouge Planned Giving options, please visit the “Plan My Legacy” page through the Office of Stewardship website: http://officeofstewardship.planmylegacy.org

Unexpected Evidence of God’s Creative Hand

Unexpected Evidence of God’s Creative Hand

 

Easter Island is the most remote habitable scrap of land in the world, an island only about sixty-six miles square, and located in the southeast Pacific, about 1300 miles from the nearest Polynesian island. Though known for its iconic eighty-ton “moai” statues, the island once knew thousands of inhabitants. Like most cultures, the native Papa Nui people lived off the land, and archeologists have been puzzled by the presence of so much rock in what are clearly historic farm fields. One researcher believes he has discovered the reason: the farmers ‘planted’ them there. They planted them.

Easter Island only receives about forty inches of rain a year and—even in the best of circumstances—such an arid climate struggles to produce a crop. By planting rocks, the Papa Nui helped warm the soil, trapped water, helped prevent erosion, and added fertilizer to the soil. Rocks, far from being a nuisance or an impediment, were the only way to farm, forcing observers to say, “All is not as it seems.” The Gospels are full of similar stories. Conventional wisdom may point to one conclusion, but the Lord’s involvement forces observers to consider other conclusions entirely.

As detailed in chapter nine of St. John’s Gospel, Jesus healed a man blind from birth, and he did so on the Sabbath. The people in the man’s community took him before the town’s officials who asked about the miracle. “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see,” the man said. Like planting rocks in an agricultural field, mud pies seem an odd remedy. It’s no wonder the Pharisees questioned the man at length. In a variety of ways, they tried to discredit both the man’s testimony and the Lord’s authority. In response to their inquiries, the formerly blind beggar boiled down the truth to its essence: “One thing I know is that I was blind and now I see.”

Jesus ministered to the man born blind, healing him of his blindness. Such a remarkable change was incontrovertible. Either he was blind, or he wasn’t. Either he had been healed of blindness or not. But, to those unwilling to consider the Savior’s power to heal and restore, direct evidence only complicated the puzzle. To them, all was not as it seemed.

Jesus continues to minister, and—in ways that sometimes surprise and amaze—he chooses to serve through faithful parishioners in this and other communities, honoring God while addressing the needs of other people. Our ministry environments can be littered with obstacles, and doubters still seek explanations to situations in which God has seemed to work in miraculous ways. Regardless of the barriers we encounter, we are reminded of simple realities. In love, Jesus granted us life. In response, we are called, and so we serve. We were blind, but now we see.

Stewardship Today is a monthly devotional newsletter designed to assist Catholics everywhere in developing a greater understanding of the role of stewardship in everyday life.
All we are, and all we possess, are gifts from God for our use and for the blessing of others. Through wise stewardship, we invest our time, our talents and our treasures to the glory of God.

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