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Gathering as Family

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As a Church, we gather together as individuals seeking God’s grace and love and to be nourished by the sacraments. Yet, it is in the gathering of us all that we become a family, gathering in our spiritual home. I have said countless times that our parish has many incredible attributes and chief among them is family. It took me
only a couple months to feel that family atmosphere and to know I was being welcomed home. Through our stewardship, we allow this place to continue to be a place where seekers come to know Christ and become Christ. Stewardship in St. Dominic Catholic Parish is an investment for the future, allowing our faith in Jesus Christ to be passed down through the generations. As we consider our stewardship, we’re also reminded in the Gospel to be thankful. The gifts that we’re given that we can share with others come first from God. The finances we give, the time we spend, and the personal skills we use, all come from God. As with any gift from God, we are called to share them with our brothers and sisters.

Gift of Grace

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What was the last gift you received that truly surprised you and changed your life? Maybe it was a tool that helped you better organize your life or helped you to finally lose that stubborn weight. Maybe it was a gift that changed the trajectory of your life or gave you a second chance at life itself. Gifts that have the ability to change our lives often come from people who truly love us.

Through the sacraments, we receive an undeserved gift from God called grace. This sanctifying grace helps us get into heaven. So what are you doing daily to stir your faith so that it is a fire that consumes all parts of your life?

Unfortunately, I believe many of us can treat our faith as another activity to squeeze into our busy lives. When we treat our faith as an activity, as an obligation, it is easy to place faith on the back burner when life gets busy. Our faith is not an activity, it’s a relationship with a God who loves us. A God who is constantly willing to give us the gifts we need to handle the turbulence in our lives and was willing to give the gift of Himself for us to spend eternity with Him. What are we doing with that gift to better ourselves, better others, and better our relationship God?

Complacent

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Recently at Mass, a word during the first reading popped out at me. The word was "complacent". The text read, "Woe to the complacent in Zion" (Amos 6:1). To be complacent is to be self-satisfied to the point of not working for change because contentment blinds you to the issues at hand. In the reading, those in Zion are resting on their laurels while suffering surrounds them. They are blind to it. Have I grown complacent? Have you grown complacent? So stuck in what I am doing that I have grown negligent to the needs around me? Have I grown self-absorbed to the point of not wanting to bother with anything outside my comfort zone?

That word has bothered me for days now. Complacent implies being unmoved. If our purpose is to come to know, love, and serve God, we can never become complacent. (This might be where the warning came from in the first reading.) Our goal is to live in relationship with Jesus. We strive to help one another get to heaven. None of this can happen with complacency. We can never be satisfied with just being, we have to move. We have to move from knowing, to loving, to serving. This is discipleship. This is what it means to be a follower of Jesus, to never be complacent. To be better. To be more. Not just for yourself but for God and your fellow human beings. I guess I got my answer for how to be the best version of myself this week. What about you?

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