A Word From Rev. Msgr. Richard Hanneke
|Sunday, January 25, 2014 |
The other day someone called and asked if I would be available for spiritual direction. I was happy to oblige. Then the person asked what was the fee?!?! I chuckled and said no fee. All I could think was “what you have been given freely, give freely’” (Mt 10:8).
These words of Jesus, for me, are the foundation for a life of stewardship. Whatever I have been able to accomplish in life is because of the God who spoke me into being. This life and all of the gifts each possess is because God said, “let him or her be!” God has entrusted much into our hands to be loved and cared for. Stewardship of these gifts is a thank you to our generous God. What you have been given freely, give freely.
Often when Catholics hear the word stewardship many think here comes the money talk or the collection basket or some other program. Stewardship is not a program. It is a way of life. It is growing in gratitude to God for all my blessings and challenges and discovering I have so much to give and share because of God’s goodness to me.
We are blessed at Lourdes. We have a vibrant, selfless, welcoming, generous community. So many share so much in so many ways. Thank you God! Can we do more? Sure! The more grateful one becomes the more one knows how much there is to share.
This is a thank you to all who have shared so much and an invitation to all OLOL parishioners to become fully active and consciously participative in the life of our parish, our Church, the life of Christ Jesus!
P.S. 2014 contribution statements were mailed this past week. Thank you for your generosity!
Something silly — Two men were marooned on an Island. One man paced back and forth worried and scared while the other man sat back and was sunning himself. The first man said to the second man, "aren’t you afraid we are about to die." "No," said the second man, "I make $100,000 a week and tithe faithfully to my church every week. My Pastor will find me."
Something real — “The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.” Corrie ten Boom.
|Sunday, January 18, 2015 |
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (translated means teacher), “where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day.
This sounds like an ordinary conversation that any of us may have when first meeting someone. These are also the first words Jesus speaks in St John’s Gospel. If we hear these words in light of the whole St John’s Gospel, they are quite profound. Jesus is asking us:
“What are you looking for?”
Ask yourself what you are really looking for in your life: Wealth? Power? Pleasure? Truth? Knowledge? Relief from pain or loneliness?
“Where are you staying?”
What is the source of your life, your authority, your being, and your doing. As we come to know Jesus more intimately, we know the answer—it is the
love of God, doing his Will, humble obedience.
“Come and see!”
This is the open invitation of Jesus, to all of us, to come follow Him. Come, be my committed disciple and you will understand a whole new way of life!
The Church calls this time in the liturgical year “ordinary,” but there is nothing ordinary in the words of Jesus: ‘Come and see” and “ Stay with me.” When we say yes to this invitation, then we discover the God of my existence, the One who spoke me into being.
Maybe a good prayer for us this week is to slowly read the whole of St. John’s Gospel so we can bring the Extraordinary into our ordinary life.
|Sunday, January 11, 2015 |
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. In the waters of the Jordan, Jesus made holy the waters of baptism. As He came forth from the waters, the Spirit of God came to rest upon Him and a voice was heard, “This is my Son, my beloved.” The very same scene was repeated on the day of our baptism, when we came forth from the waters of baptism, God said, “You are mine, my beloved.” It is from that instant forward we became saved, freed and chosen. We are called ‘child of God!’ What a gift!
Today also brings our Christmas celebration to an end. All of the decorations have been put away. We are back to the ordinary.
I hope the real Presence of Christmas, the presence of Emmanuel, God with us, is not packed away until next year. As a Christian, we must always be on the lookout for the birth of Jesus in words, actions and thoughts. Jesus’ saving birth is also a constant invitation for us to grow deeper into the mystery of His self-sacrificing love. How is Christ born in all of the joys of my life? How is He born in all of the challenges, hurts and areas needing forgiveness? If we invite Him in, He will stay and transform our hearts, so that we can speak with love about the One who is Love!
Maybe the decorations of Christmas are packed away, but the real Gift of Christmas is not—Emmanuel, God with us. Let our prayer be asking that Christ keep coming into our hearts and homes. Let us pray that He make His dwelling there so as to know the real meaning of being called a child of God! May He, dwelling in our hearts, set us free to love, to forgive, and to be His beloved!
Gratefully yours, Msgr REH