Stewardship Renewal Commitment Sunday, Nov. 17 asks
How do we live out our baptism?
It wouldn’t be unusual if the heading, “Stewardship Renewal Commitment Sunday” caused one to assume they’re being asked to be especially generous financially.
If they did assume that, they’d be wrong. Well, not entirely. Stewardship does have to do with giving. But the financial side is just one of many ways that individuals, through their baptism, are asked to give of themselves to their Church and each other. As expressed in the theme of the Nov. 17 Commitment Sunday, the upcoming event is about “Joyfully Receiving and Sharing.”
Rudy Valenzuela was born in 1900; Mark Twain was still writing novels, World War I was still years away, and one in only 13 homes had a telephone. When he was interviewed in 2002, he told the SKR that he remembered vividly the site of Haley’s Comet sailing through the sky back in 1908, and when Poncho Villa came to his home in Chihuahua, Mexico and help crush the regime of President Porfirio Diaz.
A resident of Garden City when he was interviewed by the Register at age 102, Valenzuela was, at the time, continuing his work as a 20-year volunteer at St. Catherine Hospital and Emmaus House in Garden City, pushing a cart of magazines down the hall two days a week. He took the job after his wife died in 1982.
“It helped me more than I helped anyone else. Seeing people’s faces when I handed them a magazine or a box of food, that’s what told me this was my job.
“You see it in their faces,” he added. “The ladies are best. I ask if they’d like a magazine, and they say, ‘Oh, my goodness, yes.’ They answer with their whole heart. That’s the truth.”
So what does “Stewardship Renewal Commitment Sunday” mean?
One purpose of the Masses that weekend is to offer people a chance to recommit themselves to being laborers in love with the Lord. To renew as Christian disciples; to be grateful. To profoundly begin again to share God’s blessings with others.
It’s about looking at new ways that one might be of service to their Church and to each other, whether by being a welcoming beacon in the Church, by offering daily prayer, by assisting with spiritual formation programs (think teaching a PSR class, for example), or by offering their time serving their parish in some capacity.
Leading up to Commitment Sunday, Catholics in the diocese will hear messages from the pulpit, and will read a series of articles in the SKR highlighting different aspects of stewardship, all of which will cause us to joyfully receive and share in Christ. By our baptism, we are called Christian: let us generously follow Jesus, and share His gifts with others.