Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Weekend of June 10 & 11

Among the compelling Eucharistic themes proclaimed in
today’s readings is the notion of “participation” as found
in Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Good stewards
are part of a Eucharistic family: loving, welcoming,
serving. An important part of living as a steward comes
about in the many ways we can participate in the life of
the Church. No matter how much time we have to give,
no matter what our skills or interests, no matter what our
level of commitment, there is a way to participate as a
good steward to enrich our lives and the lives of others
to build up the Body of Christ. How do you participate in
the life of your parish?

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Weekend of June 3 & 4

In today’s second reading Saint Paul’s final appeal is a
call for unity. God created that unity. Good stewards
who share Christ’s life in the Eucharist belong to each
other, just as God in the three persons of Father, Son and
Holy Spirit enjoy unity. We are an intimate part of God’s
divine bond, God’s “family.” Saint Paul maintains that
we ought to act that way. In the Church there is a bond
of family, yet plenty room for variety. Christian stewards
use their uniquely varied gifts to live a Trinitarian faith, in
unity, promoting Christ’s peace and justice. How do we
promote unity in our parish?

Pentecost Sunday May 27 & 28

This weekend we celebrate the feast of Pentecost and the
coming of the Holy Spirit among the believers of the early
Church. Saint Paul reminds us of the special power the
Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us and how that power
gives us the potential to live extraordinary lives of faith.
Good stewards recognize this power and use their gifts,
through God’s channel of grace, to transform their lives
and the lives of others, and thus hasten God’s Kingdom.
Good stewards know that it is through the Holy Spirit that
they can proclaim: “Jesus is Lord.” Do we believe that
Jesus is Our Lord? If so, how do we show it?

Pentecost: A Stewardship Feast to Celebrate

A challenge for the Christian steward is accepting, and
even rejoicing in, the fact that our commitment to faith
is often a counter-cultural one. Perhaps this is nowhere
more striking than in the quick cultural “end” of the
Easter season, and our own belief that Easter is leading us
through May to the great feast of Pentecost on May 28.
We see this discordance in many Christian
celebrations adapted by the popular, commercial
culture. While we are still enjoying the season of
Christmas and looking forward to Epiphany, most
American homes have taken the Christmas tree to the
recycling center and moved on to thoughts of Valentine’s
Day. During the sacrificial early days of Lent, there’s
something jarring – yes, just wrong – about all those
pastel Easter eggs and bunnies appearing in stores. And
all that chocolate!

So, as Christian stewards, we feel no surprise that as
we break our Easter fast and begin our meditation on the
Resurrection, we find that the stores have tucked those
chocolate bunnies away on discount shelves, and we’re
off to the next commercially competitive venture. And
as the great feast of Pentecost beckons us, we realize
that the society around us gives this occasion hardly a
passing nod. Apparently, there’s no money to be made
from Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit came among the
apostles and imbued in them the courage to be true followers of Christ. Courage,
strength, faith, the Spirit – these are hard to market in the public square, aren’t
they? The willingness to live and ultimately to die as martyrs for Christ, as the
apostles did, these are things that are hard to package in bright paper. They don’t
fit well in the greeting card aisle.

Perhaps during these days of May when we as Catholic stewards continue to
celebrate the season of Easter and look forward to Pentecost, we might examine
our own willingness to step outside the culture in our celebration of great
Christian feast days. Keep the reminders of the Resurrection around you. Let your
family prayer reflect the marvels of the season. Help your children to be aware
of the liturgical calendar. Explain to them the meaning of the changing colors of
the priests’ vestments. Dress up in red for Pentecost Sunday. But most importantly,
educate yourself and your family on how powerful it is to understand and
celebrate the great markers and mysteries of our shared faith experience.

Feast of the Ascension May 20 & 21

In today’s Gospel Jesus charges his followers to “make
disciples of all nations.” What exactly is going on here?
What is this Great Commission anyway? Good stewards
know they are directed to share what they exercise
stewardship over: their life of faith in Christ Jesus. They
know Jesus didn’t direct them to go to church and to
keep quiet about it; or to go out into the neighborhood,
workplace or marketplace and just be nice. Christ’s
Good News is meant to be shared. Many people in our
communities don’t know about Jesus Christ. Does that
bother us? Do we care? Do we realize we are supposed
to do something about it?

Stewardship Saint of the Month: Saint Bede the Venerable

Saint Bede the Venerable, an
English saint more popularly
known as the “Venerable
Bede,” was born in Sunderland,
England in the year 673.
Educated from the age of seven,
he entered the monastery
of Saint Peter in Jarrow,
Northumberland, England, was
ordained a deacon at age 19
and ordained a priest at age 30.
The monastery at Jarrow would
become the center of AngloSaxon learning in England, and
from that monastery Saint Bede,
who would remain there his
entire life, became the greatest
of the Anglo-Saxon scholars.
Saint Bede sought to exercise good stewardship by a balanced life
of prayer, scholarship and manual labor. He rarely traveled, but attended
faithfully to his monastic duties, working in the fields surrounding the
monastery and being partly responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of
the large abbey church.
His communal prayer life was complemented by meditation,
chanting of psalms and writing prayers, prose and poems that reflected
his deep faith.
Saint Bede devoted himself to the study and teaching of Sacred
Scripture, and to writing Biblical commentaries based on the Biblical
commentaries of the Fathers of the Church and to the lives of the saints.
He also taught Latin to those who entered the monastery or came for an
The term “A.D.” (Anno Domini, Latin for “year of the Lord”) for the
years of the Christian era was popularized by Saint Bede. His Ecclesiastical
History of the English People, completed in 731, was widely read
throughout England and Europe and became a classic. His book is still
reprinted and studied.
The Venerable Bede passed away on May 26, 735. In the final weeks
of his life, he completed the translation of the Gospel of John into Old
English (his native tongue) by dictating to the young monk who served as
his scribe. It is said that he passed away chanting the doxology “Glory be
to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.”
Pope Leo XIII named Saint Bede a Doctor of the Church. He is
renowned as the most important historian of the Church in England and is
the patron saint of scholars. His feast day is May 25.