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Practice being good stewards now and throughout the year

By Judy Tamisiea
RETURNING GOD'S GIFTS

During a Mass I attended at Christ the King Church on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, I looked at one of their beautiful stained glass windows. It was a picture of the Nativity with the quote: 'I sent you an example."

            It made me realize once again that we need only to look at the life of Jesus and His parents to find the road map for our own lives. Mary and Joseph were given the responsibility to raise the child who would live to save all of us. They did not choose their life and I am sure they felt a bit reluctant about their role. They were chosen, however, because of the gifts of who they were "“ Mary had all of the virtues of a perfect mother and Joseph a loving father. Most importantly they answered the call to a life of giving for the sake of their son and our savior.

            We all need to ponder if we are following the call of our savior. Are we recognizing and identifying our gifts to serve our families, our neighbors and friends, our community and country, our parishes and schools and our archdiocese. Some of us are called to follow a more difficult path "“ to support those in need "“ with time, resources and most of all with prayer.

            Are you ever tempted to hoard your gifts of time, talent and treasure as Ebenezer Scrooge did in Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol"? Scrooge was not a good steward and because of his stinginess he became lonely and lived a miserable life. Only after he opened his heart and embraced the joy of giving did his life change to one of peace and happiness. God requires us to share our resources and condemns hoarding. He also expects us to be competent in our money management and to discern the best use of the gifts He entrusts us with.

            In the Office of Stewardship, Planning and Development, we are so blessed to see the joy of people who need and receive the gifts from those who experience the joy of giving.

            We thank you if like other good stewards you have increased your gifts by giving them away. We thank you for answering your call as did Mary and Joseph on that Holy Night 2005 years ago. We thank you for your generous gifts to the archdiocese and especially to the Archbishop's Annual Appeal.

            Merry Christmas and bless you and your family in 2006.

            Judy Tamisiea is the executive director of the archdiocese's Office of Stewardship, Planning and Development.

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