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November 13, 1992     The Message
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November 13, 1992

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November 13, 1992 The Message- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana i Commentary 9 By FATHER WILLIAM DEERING Director of Worshipt A special Mass has been designated to be cel- ebrated around the Diocese of Evansville this Sunday. We are in a "Synod year" which culmi- nates in the celebration of the Diocesan Synod next November 5,6,7. As we go through this synod year we pray that our preparation for the life of the Church in Southwestern Indiana will be in tune with the Holy Spirit. The scriptures ChOsen for this Sunday fit our purposes well. The reading from Ezechial (36:23-28) speaks to us of the activity of the spirit of God. It does not produce a transitory change as in the ecstatic P,/iphets, but it gives an inner abiding power to r lye by my statutes." The covenant by which Is- ael, to whom this is addressed, becomes God's People is also based on the gift of the spirit. th The reading from I John 4:9-15 also speaks of e Spirit of Jesus We know tlmt we are his peo- p!e., "that we remain in him and he !n us by way ot his Spirit which he has given us.' Remaining Synod Mass: Letting the Spirit Speak in him, living as his people we are to have love for one another. Not to love, according to John, is to stay in the sphere of death; but the love of the brothers and sisters has already brought us to the sphere of life. LOVE and LIFE are convertible terms. The Gospel of John (10:11-16) reading begins with: "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep." When we hear "I am" we know that God is truly speaking to us. We are like Moses at the burning bush when "I AM" spoke to him. Again in this picture we see ourselves as one in Jesus, that we are the "one flock" and that we are to reach out that others may hear his voice become part of that "one flock." And later Jesus repeats the phrase "I am the good shepherd... " This is to stress the mu- tual loving knowledge between shepherd and dis- ciple which is an extension of the mutuality be- tween the Father and his Incarnate Son. Given the fact that we are in the midst of the Synod these texts indeed serve us well. They re- mind us that we are called to be one, that we are to evangelize those who have drifted away from the flock. We are to reach out and invite others who have nat been in the flock that they might hear the shepherd's voice and follow him as part of his flock. If we let the Spirit speak our hearts can be renewed. We can be regenerated so as to live as church with confidence, with hope, with faith, with great vigor and certainly with love. If We let the Spirit fill our hearts our nega- tivity can go away, our prejudices will go away and division will cease. As we gather at the Eu- charist this Sunday we pray: "May all of us who share in the Body and Blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit." (Eucharis- tic prayer II) I I Illll I I I I Illll Ill Bishops to vote on Stewardship Pastoral at November meeting By JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) t Vhen is a plea for mone no ahaP2ea for money? When Yt'sa [. ?feral letter by the U.S. mSaops. . s hold When the bishop their fall meetin in Washing- taev' 16"19:they will be ., to debate and vote on toe Second draft of a re POsed ,, P " - . pastoral letter, Stew- tlrdok, sp;x=,P,: A Disciple's Re- Catholic dioceses nation- wide have been runnin into bDudet CUts and red ink ar- )rY because Catholics, ac- .... ng to numerous national otl[lleS., give significantly less rao lr Caurch than do the ,_:-Uers of any other ma'or '.uagious rour n,, } page na,.n Y" -t the 75- re n, [_,== Iocuses less on to l,Z. J an on what it means = a disciple of Jesus C)00de00 you.00 Celeshne Christ. As one bishop put it when they discussed the idea of a pastoral letter on stewardship three years ago, "I'm more concerned about the theology than I am about the (money)." Approval by two-thirds of all active U.S. bishops is re- quired for the proposed text to become a national pastoral letter. The proposed pastoral draws heavily from Scripture for its theology, opening with St. Peter's plea to the early Christians: "As each one has- received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace." The letter explores many aspects of stewardship, from stewardship of the environ- ment to stewardship of one's financial resources, from so- cial responsibilities to church responsibilities. It places Catholic responsi- bility for the life of the church within the context of broader themes of responsible stewardship in all areas of life. "Everyone has some natu- ral responsibility for a por- tion of the world and an obli- gation in caring for it to acknowledge God's domin- ion," it says. It looks at the idea of Chris- tian vocation as responsible stewardship of one's gifts and talents. "Each of us," it says, "must discern, accept and live out joyfully and gener- ously the commitments, re- sponsibilities and roles to which God calls him or her." It explores concepts of faith and love that underlie the Christian call to generosity toward others in all aspects of life. "People's lives as stewards take countless forms, accord- ing to their unique vocations II II Sesquicentennial History Book NO W.t h'I"lais Look, availa/le'i, t/ rin o/",99,5, includes the isory el: Celestine and the surrounding communities. It: Ordered by December 3o, 199., the price of the book is $'5.oo. After this date, the cost is $ ,8.00. It: you would like a copy, please send your check, name, and address to: Celestine Sesquicentennial Historical Committee P.O. Box , Celestine, IN 47521 and circumstances," it says. "Still, the fundamental pat- tern in every case is simple and changeless: 'Serve one another through love ... bear one another's burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ."' "It would be a mistake to think that stewardship by it- self includes the whole of Christian life," the proposed letter says. But it adds that "in probing the Christian meaning of stewardship one confronts an astonishing fact: God wishes human beings to be his col- laborators in the work of cre- ation, redemption and sancti- fication; and such collaboration involves stew- ardship in its most profound sense." "Thus the stewardship of disciples is not reducible only to one task or another," it says. "It involves embrac- ing, cultivating, enioying, sharing -- and sometimes also giving up -- the goods of human life." The proposed pastoral summarizes its approach with three principles, spelled out in the introduction: -- "Mature disciples make a conscious, firm decision, carried out in action, to be followers of Jesus Christ no matter the cost to themselves. -- "Beginning in conver- sion, change of heart, this commitment is expressed not in a single action, nor even in a series of actions over a pe- riod of time, but in an entire way of life. It means commit- ting one's very self to the Lord, --"Stewardship is an ex- pression of discipleship, with the power to change how we understand and live out our lives. Disciples who practice stewardship recognize God as the origin of life, the giver of freedom, the source of all they have and are and Will be .... They know them- seh, es to be users and care- takers of God's many gifts." The bishops decided unan- imously in November 1989 to write such a pastoral. It was written by a six-bishop com- mittee, headed by Arch- bislmp Thomas I. Murphy of Seattle. who is also chairman of the bishops' Ad Hoc Com- mittee on Stewardship. It was the stewardship committee that suggested the idea of a pastoral letter to the bishops. A first draft was completed and sent out to the bishops for comment last spring. ,The second draft incorporates hundreds of minor editorial changes. It expands the treat- ment of some ideas and short- ens other passages, but basi- cally follows the same lines as the first. I ii ii I I Jl .... _ " - "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" Miller & Miller 424-9274 i 111 II  tlllU Ill I I I _+. - = Ed. L Lee = Mortuary I01 North Meridian Street Wastwon, tN 254.3612