Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
As I mentioned at last weekend’s masses, yes we did survive the week of skiing in Colorado. More than survive, those of you who prayed for us and our safety were very good at petitioning God. We had a fine trip out and back without any weather complications. We had snow each of the 4 days we skied and we enjoyed the fresh snow each day. We shared lots of good food and interesting videos as well. It was a good refreshing and relaxing time away.
I arrived back on Friday evening, February 1. The next day, I helped out with the Baptism preparation for two sets of parents anticipating the baptism of their first children. It was great fun talking with these parents about how to begin talking about God and living their faith with their little ones from the beginning.
That evening, I had accepted an invitation to the St. Theresa’s Teacher Appreciation Night and Auction. It was a great evening of wonderful food and support of St. Theresa’s School. They auctioned off class art projects that were the result of their Social Justice Study week and work with an artist in residence. They were able to put what they learned into art pieces that gained over $14,000 for their school. What a wonderful example of how faith, art, justice and financial support can be combined.
Sunday, I enjoyed the 1st Pancake Breakfast that our St. Luke’s Knights of Columbus prepared after the 9:00 am Mass. Ninety percent of the proceeds will go to the St. Luke’s Building Fund. Thank you Knights of Columbus! Men of St. Luke’s, consider becoming a Knight of Columbus. It is a wonderful way to get to know other men of the parish as you support each other fraternally, work in service and grow in your Catholic faith.
Sunday afternoon, I met with our Stewardship Committee. We have been studying the book Best Practices in Parish Stewardship by Charles E. Zech. This book and others we have studied tell us that Stewardship is not just about money. It is much deeper than that. It is talking about “A Way of Life.” It is talking about recognizing that all we have is a gift from God. It is talking about how we are to be good stewards of what God has given to us. We are to use it well and to return a portion to God in thanksgiving. We need to grow in seeing how good God is to each of us - giving us life, our family, our homes, our jobs, our things. If that is the kind of God we have and we have a real relationship with this God, then we need to respond in love as we have been loved.
How do we do that? In real, practical and human ways, we give back to God the First Fruits of our time, talent and treasure. We commit ourselves to actually spend a set number of minutes in prayer every day. We find a way to share the ability we have with the parish or the greater community. We consider the gift of our pay for that first hour to give the parish or other charity.
How we love God in return has to show up in some human and real way in our lives. It cannot just be a thought in our heads.
May we open our hearts to this Stewardship way of life and return to God in love how we use our time, talent and treasure. Be blessed as we approach Lent this Wednesday.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann