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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

Your Will: It’s More Than Legalese


It’s one of the most important legal documents you’ll ever create; a will dictates how you want your assets distributed after you’re gone. But beyond legalities, a will is a reflection of your life. It reveals who and what mattered most to you, and it’s the final gesture by which you’ll be remembered.

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

Just a Few Heads of Grain?

prayer june2018In most municipalities, selling cars and trucks is prohibited on Sunday. In others, retail establishments may not open; in still others, whether open or not, stores may not sell alcohol. Called “blue laws,” prohibitions against Sunday operations extend to hunting and fishing, unique limits on forms of entertainment, labor and business. However, as we near the third decade of the twenty-first century, the once well-established practice has little effect on most people. The origin of the term may be ambiguous, and legislative debates may continue, but the number of our neighbors who simply cannot remember when stores ever closed on Sunday likely outnumbers the rest. Those readers may be perplexed by a distinctive passage from the Gospel of Mark.

“As he was passing through a field of grain on the Sabbath, Jesus’ disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?’ He said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?’ Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath’ ” (Mark 2:23-28).

Jesus references a story we find in 1 Samuel, chapter 21. When Saul was still king of Israel, and David in conflict with him, the future ruler and his men found themselves outside the city and hungry. As was the priests’ practice, they consecrated holy bread for display, pulling previously displayed loaves and replacing them with fresh bread. Arriving at a temple, David asked for some of the older bread—though consecrated—for his men. It was holy, or set apart, thus normally eaten only by the priests, if by anyone. That was the religious law. And, so was a prohibition concerning work in the Lord’s day centuries later. On the Sabbath, traveling great distances and harvesting grain were considered labor, and were prohibited. Thus, the disciples, at least in the eyes of the Pharisees, were guilty of violating religious law.

In his closing response, Jesus invited a different conversation. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,” he said. God is not capricious, nor are his laws arbitrary. The Creator established a day of Sabbath rest not because he needed a break but because we do. Setting aside a day for rest and worship was never meant to be employed as a religious cudgel. God set aside the Sabbath, that we might worship him as he deserves, and rest as we need. Many fellow parishioners have long preferred Saturday Mass to Sunday Mass. That isn’t the point, is it. What’s at stake is our health—spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical. God knows us well, so he created the Sabbath.

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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