September 29, 2019

Today is Commitment Sunday for us. Today, after discerning where the Lord is calling us, we make a commitment to sharing our time and talent here in our parish.

The commitment we make is rooted in a deeper commitment, a pledge to love God above all things because he has first loved us. You and I strive to honor that relationship and to stand in gratitude for all that God has given us. Our commitment of time, talent and treasure is always a response to God’s love for us.

While many joke about “Catholic guilt,” the truth is, if we make commitments based on guilt, then these commitments really won’t last – or they will become sources of deep dysfunction!

If we make commitments based on a desire to earn God’s love or earn our way into heaven, those commitments will fall short of the incredible love God has for each of us. Making a commitment of our time and talent is not about earning God’s love, but is all about living in gratitude for His love.

The Lord has committed to us first. God has taken the first step. God has loved us first, created us in love, and sustained us in that love. God, when we were lost as a people, came among us in flesh and blood and rescued us from the power of sin and death.

Even now, especially now, in the midst of our day to day lives, God accompanies us through the risen Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. When we struggle; when we go through painful experiences and difficult times; when we feel lost and alone, our God is there walking with us.

When we are filled with joy; when new life springs forth in a relationship or the birth of a child; when success comes in our career or in our education, our God is there, accompanying us and celebrating with us.

Our Stewardship of Talent, and the commitments we make this weekend, are all about nurturing a heart of gratitude for God’s presence in our lives. God calls us to be good stewards of those gifts freely given to us, to develop them and use them well. God also calls on us to make a return in thanks by giving back to Him, through service to others, a portion of the gifts with which He has blessed us.

My heart is filled with gratitude for your faithfulness over the years, and your faithfulness to this discernment process we have been engaged in this month. Thank you for the commitments you make this weekend to those ministries, events and activities that will help us to advance our mission to love God, love our neighbor and make disciples.

To those of you who already do an enormous amount to support life here in our parish, Thank You! To those of you who are in a place in your life to give support to our ministries and events and activities through your prayers, Thank You! Prayer animates everything we do, and your support, through prayer, is crucial for us to carry out our mission.

The next step in this process is for our staff and other volunteer ministry leaders to reach out to those who have offered to help in a particular area of parish life. You will be hearing from us soon about your interest in committing to giving of your talent to advance the mission of our parish.

May God continue to bless us and guide us in this next stage of our process – this stage of follow-through and implementation. Once again, thank you the faithful stewardship of your talent as we strive to continue our mission to love God, love our neighbor, and make disciples!

Fr. Gary Lazzeroni