Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 25, 2007
Jesus' Sacred Heart pulses through stewards' lives
St. Joseph's theology professor urges delegates to give as they receive
- WCR photo by Bill Glen
Father Stefano Penna told the Western Canadian Catholic Stewardship Conference, God comes into our lives through Jesus' sacred heartbeat.
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the sound that echoes in the heart of all stewards, Father Stefano Penna told the Western Canadian Catholic Stewardship Conference.
"His love song is the sound of that heart," Penna told the 300 people attending the conference. "It is the pulse that connects even the smallest and most delicate moments of Christian life with the whole life of the Church.
"God comes into our lives through that heartbeat that brings the pulsing power of the Spirit into us through the Eucharist."
In this eucharistic heartbeat is the holy mystery of God that is entrusted to us as stewards, the priest said.
"Christians have always known this even before a word of the New Testament was written, before the first parish was organized, before the first missionary activity was sent out," he said.
Penna is an associate professor of theology at St. Joseph's University College who recently received his doctorate in religious studies from Yale University.
Christ's body and blood
He told those attending the stewardship conference to look deeply into their hearts for the truth of who they are - Christ's body and blood in the world.
"Stewardship is surrendering our whole selves to living the Sacred Heart of Jesus' eucharistic song of total surrender, of obedient love in joyful celebration," Penna said.
Like the human heart that rests in the centre of a complex network of circulating life that flows through the body, the rhythm of the Sacred Heart contracts and expands, sending life to even the most delicate regions of the person. It then draws that life back into itself, revealing that all of the body and all of its life are connected, he said.
"Do we hear its passionate beat accompanying us at this very moment? The Sacred Heart of Jesus is revealed even more deeply."
Christ is the heart of all that we are and we will be his Church as individual Christians, connected and passing through him.
"Christians gathered on the day of the Lord to remember him by taking bread and wine and blessing them as Jesus had instructed."
Heartbeat of Jesus
It's the heartbeat of Jesus that draws Christians from their diverse living back together, then sending them out again.
As we have received, so we are to deliver, Penna said.
"We have received his body, so we are to deliver to others his love, made food. We have received his blood, so we are to deliver his love, made drink.
"This is the holy mystery of which we are stewards," he said.
Penna asked the gathering to accept the whole conference, each moment of prayer, keynote address or conversation with another person as a new action in the body and blood of Christ.
"Listen to the echo of his heart and how the Spirit is at work in every new insight and encounter, deepening your love for the sacred mysteries of which we are stewards," he said.
The stewardship conference offered lay and ordained an opportunity to hear speakers from across North America and take ideas back to their parishes.
The Edmonton Archdiocese hosted this year's event.