The Resurrection of the Lord – Easter Sunday April 9, 2023

The reading from the Acts of the Apostles reminds us that
we, too, bear witness to the risen Lord. The presence
of Christ is within us, making us new, transforming us,
turning us into stewards of the Good News. There is no
more time for holding grudges, disliking others, seeking
vengeance, maintaining old prejudices, tolerating bias.
We are Christ’s joy and instruments of his peace. Our
world is reordered. Reflect on how we are called to let
Christ’s forgiveness, reconciliation and love per¬meate
our lives. We are Easter people. Rejoice! He is risen!

The Resurrection of the Lord – Easter Vigil April 8, 2023

In tonight’s reading from Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans,
we are reminded that we are alive in Christ. And it is not
merely once a year that we remember what Jesus did to
give us this new life, forgiveness and peace. Every day
good stewards remember their baptism. They remember
that they are united with Jesus in his death; that daily
they drown the old sinful nature, and that daily they
rise to their new life in Christ. Let us be mindful every
day, especially when we are troubled by life or tempted
by sin, that our lives are no longer about us, but about
Christ’s active, loving presence within us. That is our
baptism. Alleluia! He is risen!

Easter – A joyful season for those who are the “Light of Christ”

For those who exercise good stewardship of their Catholic faith, this April is the happiest, most joyful of months for it ushers in the great Easter season – a season of profound hope and joy.
During the Easter season, which extends 50 days, from the Easter Vigil Mass of Saturday evening, April 8 to the Vigil Mass of Pentecost Sunday, on Saturday evening, May 27, Christian stewards are exhorted to celebrate and be joyful, for our Savior is with us.
In his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”), Pope Francis revealed that the best way to live out the joy of Easter is to become a genuine family of faith, an “evangelizing Church that comes out of herself.” He urged Catholics around the world to contemplate the mind of Jesus Christ and what it means to be the “light of Christ.” From there, Francis believed a spirituality of missionary discipleship could be cultivated that would “help the Church get out of herself “ and reach out to those who live in darkness.
At the Easter Vigil, all the great symbols are there: darkness, light, fire, water. The Vigil begins in darkness; not a darkness to be ignored, but a darkness in which we realize where we would be without the light of Christ, a darkness that reveals much about our world, our own sinfulness, the darkness that sometimes envelopes our own lives and even shrouds our own hearts. But then, the great fire of the Vigil is lit, a fire which consumes the darkness, and the procession into the church reminds us of the light and strength provided by the community of the faithful and the saving light of Christ. Indeed, Saint Paul maintains that we are stewards of this great light. We remember the waters of baptism during the Vigil as we renew our baptismal vows. The Vigil also brings into our community those newly baptized who proceed joyfully with us into April. As Christ’s disciples who exercise stewardship of Jesus’ teachings, come into the glory of this April, join with those apostles whose hearts were on fire, and contemplate the words of the risen Lord: “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Matt. 5:16). For good stewards of their faith, this charge should be enough to bring hope and joy. Indeed, April is the most glorious of months. Christ is risen! Alleluia!

TWENTY Stewardship Ideas for the Month of April

1. Participate in the three liturgies of the Easter Triduum at your parish, i.e. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
2. Write a note of encouragement and prayer to someone entering the Church.
3. Make a blood donation.
4. Join or start a Bible study group.
5. Keep the Sabbath holy. Make a pledge not to work on Sunday.
6. Plan an outing with your family.
7. Re-examine your commitment to the parish’s offertory collection.
8. Introduce yourself to a fellow parishioner with whom you are unfamiliar.
9. Celebrate Earth Day 2023 by prayer and commitment to curb pollution.
10. Help a neighbor who is physically unable to clean their yard.
11. Invite someone to attend Easter Mass or another weekend liturgy with you.
12. Don’t text when you drive.
13. Reduce your stress by getting outside and getting some exercise.
14. Make contact with a relative you haven’t seen in a long time.
15. Take time to pray each day.
16. Treat your family or loved one to a day at the museum.
17. Volunteer to participate in a community cleanup effort.
18. Make a gift to your diocesan annual appeal.
19. Plant flowers, shrubs or trees in a park or other location.
20. Donate gently used clothing.

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion: Weekend of April 1/2, 2023

We are at the doorsteps of Holy Week where we
remember Christ’s passion. Jesus humbled himself and
let go of everything, emptying himself for us. During
this time of Lent, how have we joined the Lord? Has our
prayer, penitential practices and almsgiving moved us
to humble ourselves before the Lord? Have we let go of
things that keep us from being authentic stewards for
Christ Jesus? How have we “emptied” ourselves so that
when we do approach the table of the Lord, we can be
nourished by His body and blood? As disciples of the
Lord Jesus and stewards of His gift of faith, it is time to
evaluate our lives under the cross.

Fifth Sunday of Lent Weekend of March 25/26, 2023

Jesus called to his friend from the dead, “Lazarus, come
out!” It is the same call our Lord makes to us unceasingly:
“Come out!” Jesus calls us from our tomb of doubt and
unbelief, from the darkness of our fear and anxieties; from
the depths of our weaknesses and lack of hope. Christian
stewards pray for an open heart so that they may hear the
voice of the Lord, heed the continuous call to come away
from their former way of living and reprioritize their lives
in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do we believe
Christ has the power to transform our lives? Do we take
time to listen for his call?