In my last article on stewardship entitled: "Stewardship as a Way of Life: Treasure – The Poor," I ended up by promising to continue with our obligation to the poor as a mark of good stewardship of our treasure. Drawing from the scriptures, I used the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in Lk16:19-31. I pointed out that the rich man was condemned not because he was rich but because he neglected to take care of the poor Lazarus. We noted too that God has given us what is sufficient to take care of our needs and also to tithe a portion of it back to Him through the poor. We further noted that we still have the poor among us, which is proof that we still have the obligation to give our 10% back to God through our Church, St. Andrew.
It is important to remember that 10% of our treasure is not ours to keep, it is to be shared with the poor. I bet the rich man did not even notice the scraps that fell from his table nor would he have even missed it if he had given the first and best 10% to Lazarus. Moreover, I believe, by giving this 10%, he would not have ended up with less. On the contrary, God would have given him more.READ MORE
Adults/Teens: Does it seem surprising that the Apostles ask, “Lord, teach us to pray”? What do you think seemed notable to them about the way Jesus was prayer that they wanted to emulate? Jesus says persistence pays off. God won’t refuse the Holy Spirit to anyone who persists in asking.
Children: Have you every prayed for something and gotten the opposite thing you asked for or nothing at all? Have you prayed and gotten what you wanted? Has anyone every asked you for something and received it from you or asked and been refused? Take a few minutes each day and pray the “Lord’s Prayer.”
Take a moment to reflect on Jesus and His presence in your life.
Pray together, aloud, the Our Father.
Adults/Teens: In the Gospel reading today, we encounter Jesus teaching an important lesson to those listening to Him. Martha is serving those listening to Jesus, she is working hard and diligently to ensure things are taken care of. Martha's sister, Mary, is listening to Christ and not helping with the serving of those present. Martha gets upset that Mary is not also serving, and this is where Jesus steps in to teach us all something. There will be times when we must work in order to ensure things are taken care of. There will, and must, also be times when we need to simply sit at the feet of the Savior and take in all He has to offer us.READ MORE
Adults/Teens: When we encounter Jesus in the Gospel reading for today, He is being confronted by a man who wants to hear that what he is already doing will allow him into eternal life. The man knows that he abides by the law and does what must be done; this, in his eyes, is enough for Heaven. Jesus’ response is clear; go the extra mile. A parable is taught in which a priest and a man in the priestly line pass by a man beaten and left for dead. It is their job – their calling by God – to minister to those in need, and yet they do nothing. This is a challenge to us to act like the Samaritan, the one in the parable who had no need to minister to the man and yet did. When it comes down to it, we are all called to be Christ’s Mercy in the world. How can we actively respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives and live a life of Mercy?READ MORE
After much prayer and planning, I am excited to share with you an historic effort of the Diocese of Phoenix: the Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante Campaign. This campaign will respond to the needs of our mission community and throughout the Diocese of Phoenix, strengthening our efforts of Evangelization and Discipleship.
We can draw inspiration from missionary saints who were faced with challenges of their time while establishing the church in Arizona. Padre Eusebio Kino and St. Junipero Serra both planted their cross here and worked tirelessly to spread the joy of the Gospel. Saint Serra was known for his motto: "Siempre adelante! Keep moving forward!"READ MORE
Adults/Teens: In the Gospel reading today, Jesus sends out more messengers to announce His coming. The words of preparation that Jesus gives to the 72 are great for us to heed today as well: “Take only the good news of the Gospel and let it speak for itself.” So often, we are worried that we could not be good evangelists because we do not have all of the answers. Perhaps we feel that we are not as trained or as learned as others and therefore, we do not feel like it is our job to spread the Gospel. Jesus has different plans. By our Baptism and Confirmation, we are given the mission to announce Jesus’ coming and spread the Good News. Our mission is to bring this Good News with peace to all the world; to offer of ourselves enough for God to work miracles through our labor. May we always find comfort in the words of Christ, that although we are going out as lambs among wolves, we also know that the laborer deserves his pay and that our reward will be in Heaven. Have faith that God will equip you to spread the Gospel.READ MORE
“I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” -John 15:5
When I was a Youth Director at a neighboring Catholic parish, I would teach the teens the difference between a venial sin and a mortal sin. I would liken it to friendships. When we commit a mortal sin, we destroy the relationship between ourselves and our former friend; the relationship is no longer there. It is dead. When we commit a mortal sin, that is what happens between us and our Lord. Fully understanding what mortal sin is: we decide, in our actions, to end that relationship.READ MORE