The parish Stewardship Council is launching the Year of Service this month. Service is one of the four pillars of stewardship:
- Formation, and
Each month our parish will focus on a person in the Bible who served the Lord well. We will also look at characteristics of that person that helped him or her follow God’s will.
Every week we will offer various service challenges. By participating in these challenges, you will be growing as a disciple of Christ and developing a servant’s heart.
Saint of the Month
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to His Word.” (Magnificat)
Saint Mary is the perfect model of service.
She expresses numerous characteristics of a good servant: responsiveness, generosity, sacrifice, courage, faithfulness, loyalty, devotion, obedience, and compassion.
This month’s Characteristic of a Christian Steward is Responsiveness, Generosity, Sacrifice, Courage, Faithfulness, Loyalty, Devotion, Obedience, and Compassion. October’s Biblical Role Model is Saint Mary.
After Jesus, Mary is the ultimate example of Christian service
by Deacon Tim Sullivan
From the beginning, Mary reveals to us that service starts with humility. We tend to think we will serve by doing what we want to do or what we are good at. Mary’s humility is much broader than that. She never would have dreamed of conceiving a child as a single woman by the power of the Holy Spirit and giving birth to the Savior of humanity.
Her response to the angel Gabriel sets the standard for all of us: “May it be done unto me as you have said.” Each of us must have a similar attitude: “Lord, however you want me to serve, I will serve. Give me the grace to know and follow Your will, not mine.”
Mary then reveals to us the highest form of service, which is leading other people to Jesus. She visits her cousin, Elizabeth. At the presence of Jesus in Mary’s womb, Elizabeth’s own child in her womb, John, leaps for joy, and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. Somehow, in our own acts of service, we are to communicate the presence of Jesus to those we serve.
Finally, Mary is keenly attentive to the needs of others in every situation. At the wedding feast of Cana, she sees that there is no more wine and promptly responds, even to the point of challenging the hesitancy of Jesus to take action. God’s will for us is communicated by the needs of those around us. We must be attentive in every situation we find ourselves, sensitive to what is needed and making sure the need is addressed.
Stewardship Service Challenges
Mary said “yes” to our Lord and by her “yes” she opened the door to salvation for all of us. This month, let us challenge ourselves to say “yes” to those around us.
Week 1: Say yes to a person or activity in your family or workplace who asks for your help. Make an intention to participate willingly in their request.
Week 2: Respond with a “yes” to an opportunity to help someone you do not know by sharing your time or resources with them.
Week 3: Try to daily say “yes” to one person who asks for your help and let them know that you appreciate them asking you to help them.
Week 4: Say “yes” to volunteering to do a favor or an act of kindness for someone without letting them know it was you who helped them.
Stewardship Service Reflections
October 2 (Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels): I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. -John 13:15
October 9: We are all God’s children so it is important to share His gifts. Do not worry about why problems exist in the world—just respond to people’s needs. -Saint Teresa of Calcutta
October 16: For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. -Galatians 5:13
October 23 (St. John Paul II, October 22): Place your talents and enthusiasm at the service of life. -John Paul II
October 30: We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. -Saint Teresa of Calcutta