18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
BECOMING GOOD STEWARDS OF OUR GIFTS
By Fr. Chris Valka, CSB
One of the questions I frequently ask myself is, “I am being a good steward of that which I have been given?” Lately, this question has also framed many of my discussions with various ministry and administrative leaders at St. Basil’s and St. Michael’s.
This week, our Gospel asks a similar question: What are we storing? Are our treasures things that are important to God or for ourselves?
Like most of us, I find I try to fill voids or needs in my own life with something new. Whether it be something found at a store, or some sort of new idea, or a new aspect of my life – new fills the void much easier than used. Of course, the problem is that new becomes used and then the cycle begins. . .
But do we really need more new things, or do we just need to reimagine what we already have? Our Gospel would suggest that God prefers this approach rather going after something new, because this re-imagination is more like restoration – remembering a history and connecting it to a present. Quite frankly, I think we like new because it is easy, but it often fails to connect to our soul.
You might imagine I am now longer writing about our own person, but who we are as a parish. Many people have spoken to me about the people who aren’t coming to church in hopes that I might have some sort of new solution. While I love the question, I believe it is secondary to a more important question: what about the people who are already here? Do they find what they are looking for? What about the things we already have? Can these things be reimagined to address the needs of today?
I have been amazed at how many people walk into to St. Basil’s – literally thousands – every week. As I try to meet everyone, I am frequently asking if they find what they are looking for in this place. Many are looking for silence, others connection with God or other people; still others instruction.
However, I have also found that many do not, but they keep coming in hopes that one day they will find what they are looking for.
So where does this leave us as a community? Where does it leave you, the reader? In short, the question of others coming (or not coming) to church is answered in ourselves. If others find us fulfilled with what we have, using well the gifts we have been given – they will come and stay. So we start there.
May the Lord bless us with eyes and minds to see what we have been looking at for years, with new a new vision and new creativity. And may the Lord give us the courage to use the treasures we already have in a manner that brings us, and others, closer to God.