Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 25, 2007
Be grateful for God's gifts
Fr. Brendan McGuire
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
Have you ever thanked God for your eyeglasses?
Father Brendan McGuire posed this question to more than 100 delegates who packed a room in the Mayfield Inn for his talk during the June 15-16 Western Canadian Catholic Stewardship Conference.
"Accepting and being grateful for our gifts is the cornerstone of stewardship," said McGuire, a native of Ireland who is pastor of a parish in San Jose, Calif.
"There are millions of people in China and India who don't have glasses and they can't see clearly."
McGuire led a session on stewardship and the Eucharist.
Thanks for all gifts
He told a story of when he was in France with his brother who was treating him to a gourmet meal at an expensive restaurant. Unfortunately, McGuire had developed a virus that rendered his senses of smell and taste virtually useless. Everything smelled and tasted the same - bland.
"We must thank God for the gift of our senses."
McGuire said it is imperative that Catholics live their faith out loud for others to see and hear.
"It's our message to the world," he said. "Stewardship is a new way of looking at something old. We start with prayer and reflection while accepting our gifts of family, friends, freedom, health and our very lives.
"Stewardship is a new vision of parish leaders with a way to integrate different committees into one direction."
Listen to God
Catholics shouldn't talk to God as much as to listen in their hearts to what he has to say. "Human dignity is God's gift and our response is gratitude."
But it takes work.
"The Eucharist is at the centre of our shared lives as people of faith. It is the font and summit of what we do as believers. It is a thanksgiving feast," he said.
Stewards of Christ must live the Church outside of the building by connecting to the community - in homes and in offices. They must be present to the gifts of Christ, grateful for them and willing to share God with others.
"We do not leave the Church, but we are sent on a mission. We are to spread the Good News, love one another as Christ loved us and to bring him to others."