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10th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

10th Sunday of Ordinary Time…….. “Stewards of All Things”

          Executives from Exxon Mobile, Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum and other companies got together for a meeting this week.  Now that might not seem all that unusual.  But the meeting took place at the Vatican.  The oil execs were discussing environmental issues.  We might say, “What has this got to do with religion?”  The answer to that question is contained in the Book of Genesis.

            We read from the first Book of the Bible today.  Although, today’s reading centers on the advent of sin in the world we do not have to go back very far in the story of our first parents to find references to stewardship.  And stewardship is something that is always not far from our mind at Sacred Heart.  Today is one of the Sundays of the year when we reflect on Stewardship. 

            In a broad sense we think about the fact that from the beginning of time human beings have been made the stewards of creation.  We can use the resources of the world for our short-term economic benefits.  And then again, we can worry about our children.

            The stories of Genesis reveal truths about the creation of the world.  We see that humans were made at the end of creation process. We are made in the likeness of God. As the most intelligent creatures in the world, humans have transformed the earth in many ways.  As our president and the leader of North Korea sit down this week to discuss the problem of nuclear weapons we realize that we have evolved to the point that we can destroy the world in a matter of minutes.  We also can devastate the world over decades by how we treat it.

            Why should we care?  We care because we have a moral imperative to care.  Catholic Social Teaching reminds us that as Christians we must be concerned about the common good.  All countries are interconnected.  The actions of one country can affect the wellbeing of the world.  We want everyone to live in safety and in a healthy environment.  Pope John Paul II came up with the moral principal of solidarity which means all the world’s creatures are interconnected.  We remember how Adam and Eve abused the gift of knowledge and the gift of free choice.  As a result, they had to vacate the Garden of Eden. To be selfish is the root of sin.

            We can bring all this down to the parish level.  All we have as a parish belongs to God.  How do we treat the material things Sacred Heart possesses?  Do we share? 

            Today, we take a Sunday to reflect on the gift that is our parish.  We need not only to take care of the material resources we have, but also to take care of the spiritual needs of all our fellow parishioners.  People in our neighborhood often walk through our campus.  We have beautiful flower beds.  We have religious symbols for all to see.  We have buildings that are constantly being cared for.  We want our grounds to be an oasis of peace in the middle of our city. And they are. But there is another aspect to stewardship

            We need people to do ministry.  Today we ask for two types of ministers.  We need communion ministers to distribute the Eucharist at Mass.  When commune with dignity and reverence is so very important.  To do that, we need to have the help of generous parishioners.  We also would like to have more people to act as welcome ministers.  When someone joins our parish, they need to be met with love and concern.  If they are, they will want to remain a part of our community.  First impressions are important.  After Mass, there will be sign up lists in the vestibule for these two ministries. You are invited to help with them.

            We are stewards of the earth, our homes, our parish.  All this is a religious and moral matter.  As Christians we seek never to exploit the world, but to care deeply for it.