devotional

LOCAL DIOCESAN NEWS

Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Bishop Robert W. Muench will celebrate a Mass honoring couples celebrating 25, 50, 65 or more years of marriage at the Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Celebration, on Sunday, February 25 at 2 PM, St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge. To register, contact your local parish office before Friday, February 9.

Diocesan News Page

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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

Put the Checkbook Away:
Turn Today’s Gift into a Gift for Tomorrow


When people think about giving to a charitable institution like the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge, cash seems like the easiest way to give. Simply write a check, and your generosity helps address our most immediate needs. But, what about the long-term needs of those we serve? What about 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

Identify Yourself—as a Follower of Christ

miistry feb2018“Identify yourself! Identify yourself!” From a classic science fiction story, the words conjure countless situations just like it—in literature, as in life—though certainly less dramatic in reality. “The glowing points of yellow light represented the enemy fleet. Base Q to unknown fleet, bearing four-one-one-seven. Range 1-0-0. Identify yourself! Identify yourself! The words spaced out with painful clarity, a hush had fallen over the Information Center.” To incoming spacecraft, “Identify yourself!” Suspenseful and entertaining? Of course. Perhaps even more so to an approaching intruder: “Identify yourself!” In the Scriptures, St. Paul suggested a different type of identification completely—one establishing connections.

Directing others to Jesus Christ, Paul sought common ground. He worked hard to “identify with” other people, consider their personalities and note elements of their character—things that helped define who they were. He then made sensible connections. “To those outside the law I became like one outside the law—thought I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ—to win over those outside the law. To the weak, I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it” (1 Corinthians 9:21-23).

“Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave (or servant) to all so as to win over as many as possible” (1 Corinthians 9:19). In love, the Apostle identified his neighbors—“whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free” (12:13b)—through the lens of longing. Broken, in despair, or simply separated from God, those in need of Christ and his grace became targets of Paul’s ministry of compassion. He “became all things to all”—identifying with their strengths and their weaknesses—that he might “save at least some.” In our works of evangelism and mission, we seek the same thing: to direct the love of Christ to everyone in need of the Lord’s saving mercy and grace.

As Paul did in the first century, we do so today—“for the glory of God.” To God’s glory, we identify with others. “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Avoid giving offense, whether to Jews or Greeks or the church of God.” In the saint’s words, “I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit, but that of the many, that they may be saved” (10:31-33). In whatever ways others identify themselves, we follow Paul’s example, so that they might see Christ in us: “Be imitators of me,” he wrote, “as I am of Christ” (11:1). We embrace such a call, that others might find Jesus and learn to identify with him.

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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