“What sort of steward, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment.” (Luke 12: 43-44)
This week’s Gospel talks about responsible stewardship. I want to continue my theme from last week and ask if we are being wise and faithful stewards of our Pastoral Area from Yanchep to Lancelin. It’s interesting that Jesus says that one of the steward’s jobs is to ‘give them their allowance of food’. Yes, we can interpret this as referring to the Eucharist, but there is more to following Christ than the Mass and the Eucharist. Christians need to be fed with the Word of God in Scripture, in excellent and inspirational homilies, and in the practice of the Word. We need to remember that people leave Churches (or don’t even think of joining a Church) if they are not getting fed, if there is no sense of Communion in action. They may be longing to see the Word of God being carried out in a communal plan. We could say that a responsible steward gathers and feeds, but a slothful steward starves and scatters. One of the signs that Jesus was the Christ, was that he gathered the tribes – he brought together the apostles and gathered a great many other disciples around himself; he took the trouble to heal, to talk to the crowds, to exorcise demons, to get out of his comfort zone par excellence.
One of the ways I was fed this week was through a thought-provoking interview of Andrew Bolt of Sky News by Pastor James Macpherson of Calvary Christian Church. Bolt makes the point that
Tearing down things is a much easier way of asserting your individuality, your strength, your very existence, than creating something. For every Leonardo da Vinci, there are ten thousand people that find it quite empowering to put a scratch in his work.
Bolt is an agnostic, but very aware that the popular trend of attacking Christianity will remove many of the freedoms and benefits that Christianity has brought to Western Civilisation. So right here in our own little pastoral area, we need to be creating, gathering and building, witnessing strongly and not keeping our light under a bushel. This week we have Census night and one of the questions is about religion. How good have we been at making a difference to our local area’s Census results on the Catholic faith?
It seems to me that we should be asking (of ourselves) questions like these:
- Do the members of the church, under the leadership of the Priest, gather to ask questions like the ones I am asking?
- What is the mission of a Pastoral Area? Are we expecting ourselves to grow from a Pastoral Area to a Parish without actually doing any work or having a structured plan? It seems to me that different members of our Pastoral Area are carrying out some sort of mission in their own way, but there is no co-ordination of our activities so that we all feel we are working towards a common goal.
- Do we discuss how we can witness to Christ in our area, and actually form and document some implementable plans?
- Is it enough just to attend Mass, and not have any formal plans for outreach to former parishioners, outreach to the sick, outreach to the wider community, outreach to current members of our church who feel they are not being fed?
- Is anyone else, like me, interested in building our sense of Community, being fed through Bible Studies, film nights (I have plenty of inspirational Catholic material) and shared dinners. Does anyone see that we need to meet together to give each other mutual support, plan for the future, reach out to the community and divide up the work so that we can all be assured that our stewardship duties are being addressed?
I am happy to host a discussion, if only I can find others who are on the same page. Fellow parishioners or, for that matter, any residents of Yanchep, Guilderton and Lancelin, please let me know what you would like to see done in our Pastoral Area (just reply via the comment box – or phone me (Deirdre) at 0400 660 337). If you are doing something already, please let us know how you are already contributing.
And do watch the Andrew Bolt interview!
Word format: Year C 19th Sunday 2016
Pdf format:Year C 19th Sunday 2016