Our Time, Talent & Treasures

Welcome to the first days of February. Most of you will be reading this on Groundhog’s Day, which will apparently tell us how much more of winter we should either have to endure or enjoy depending on your perspective. My personal prediction is that we will have quite a few more days of snow, cold and wind ahead of us.

In spite of the weather our daily Masses in the Historic Church and our weekend Masses in the Main Church continue to thrive. What a wonderful sight it is to see the cars flowing into the parking lots in spite of the cold and snow. We are either truly hearty Minnesotans or we are a people who believe, gather and worship in the love of God. Maybe it is a bit of both but I do believe that it is the gift of God’s love to his people and our response to this love that brings us out of our warm homes and into the cold to gather and worship together.

God’s love to his people is truly amazing. He gave to us the ultimate gift of his only Son. He gave to us our lives, our talents, our ability to share in His grace, and to pass this onto others. We gather every week to rejoice in this beautiful gift he has given us. We listen to His word, reflect upon its meaning, receive the Body and Blood of Christ, pray and give thanks.

What if we took this gift one step farther? What if in addition to attending Mass weekly or daily we set aside time each day for prayer? What if we took the time to really look at what He has given us? What if we reflected on what he has given us, and determined how we can use these gifts to give back to him? What if, in other words, we became good stewards of what has been given to us?

Prayer is one of the easiest things we can do each day. It can be done upon waking in the morning, preparing for the day, or sitting in rush hour traffic. It can be done at work, the dentist’s office, at the dinner table or before bed. It can be one of the prayers we have memorized since we were children. It could be the rosary, or it could be found in a book or missal. Prayer can be random, it can be made up as we go along, or it can be a simple conversation with God. In the course of prayer we can give thanks to God, ask for guidance, wisdom, or healing, and we can express our hurt anger and fears. Prayer can be what you make it. I just ask that you find time each day for prayer. It is a simple, wonderful way to experience God’s love and bring us closer to Him.

How often do we really think about all the gifts God has given us? Some of us may have grown up in a home with loving parents, experienced the blessings of true friendships, or have found the love and support of a good spouse. Maybe some of us have a talent for fixing things, playing the piano, hitting a baseball or figuring out a complex math equation. Many of us have jobs, good health, and the blessings of children or grandchildren.  These are all gifts from God, gifts that show us how much he loves and cares for us. When times are tough, and invariably they will be throughout life, it is sometimes hard to see all that we have been given. If we take the time and really think about our lives, we will discover many of the gifts we have been given.

Let’s take this one step farther. Now that we have pondered upon our gifts and blessings that have been bestowed upon us, what can we do to share these with others? Can we help a neighbor shovel a driveway, visit a friend who is lonely, or give aide those who are not as fortunate as us? Can we help a child to read, lead a religious education class, or distribute Holy Communion at Mass or to those who are homebound? Can we not find the time to share a little of the gifts that have so generously been given to us? Is it not in giving that we truly receive? There are so many ways in which we can give back to God through what he has given us. It is a way to take the gift of his love and to pass it on to others.

The past three weekends we have been hearing a great deal about stewardship. I like to think of stewardship as a three legged stool. One leg is time; time to give in prayer, attend Mass or volunteer at church or the community. Another leg is talent. We all have some talents, gifts that can be shared with others. The final leg is treasure. Treasure is not only our financial gifts but the gift of ourselves. No time, talent or treasure is so little that it cannot be shared. The Church sits upon this stool. If a leg is missing, the stool will fail, and the Church cannot be supported.

If you have not yet had a chance to turn in your commitment card, I ask that you please do so soon. The more commitments we receive, the stronger our stool is to support the Church. The stronger a church we have, the  greater ability we have to give thanks and praise for the wonderful gift of love that has been given to each and every one of us.

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