In today’s Gospel we hear some of Jesus’ bold proclamations to the people of Israel which are still applicable to us 2000 years later. Jesus says “You have heard what was said to those of ancient times… but I say to you…” He challenges his followers to go above and beyond their limits of charity and to not settle for their old previous notions of what it meant to love.
This is an important lesson for us as stewards who strive to follow Christ and serve Him and the Church. We should not just offer our gifts to our parish community in a mediocre way, but strive to do so as generously as possible. Cardinal Collins in his Pastoral Letter on Stewardship says that “as good stewards, we are meant to use God’s gift fruitfully and creatively, so that with true gratitude for what we have received we may return God’s gifts to Him with increase.” The key word in the Cardinal’s exhortation is “increase.”
How often do we go the extra mile in our sharing of our time and talent? How often do we surpass our comfortable notions of how much we want to love? Jesus is asking all of His stewards to give of themselves generously. Perhaps we can try to take a little more time this week for prayer and commit more wholeheartedly to the ministries we are involved in. Let us always strive to be better and remember the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who said, “you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”
CELEBRATING MARRIAGE SUNDAY
To Married Couples throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto,
As we celebrate Marriage Sunday in the Archdiocese of Toronto, I wish to congratulate and thank married couples who strengthen our community through their daily witness of love, commitment and selflessness. Your ongoing "yes" provides hope and inspiration for the community, strengthened by God's grace and the love and prayers of family and friends.
We also extend our loving support to those who have lost a spouse or have experienced the pain and suffering of a broken relationship. If you are in need of assistance during these difficult days, I encourage you to seek out programs and resources in your own parish or throughout our diocese so that we may accompany you through the healing process.
To those assisting couples as they prepare for marriage and for those engaged in marriage enrichment programs or movements to support the sacrament of matrimony, be assured of my gratitude. Your ministry is essential in laying a foundation for healthy relationships and loving families, something so urgently needed in our world today.
Thank you for all that you continue to do to value and enrich the sacrament of marriage in our homes and parishes, extending our love for one another to all those we encounter each and every day. May God continue to bless you now and always!
Sincerely in Christ,
Thomas Cardinal Collins
Archbishop of Toronto
"Marriage is a precious sign, for when a man and a woman celebrate the sacrament of marriage, God is, as it were, 'mirrored' in them; he impresses in them his own features and the indelible character of his love. Marriage is the icon of God's love for us."
From Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia