18 August 2011
There are enough gifts. This was Sr Elizabeth Julian’s challenge to Launch Out retreatants last month. She reminded us that the archbishop has called us to stewardship. He is taking it seriously and he urges us to do the same. This is the song being sung by the whole archdiocese.
Sr Elizabeth reminded us that the church has sufficient gifts to bring about the reign of God. We live in a gifted environment. God does not give us this mission and then not give us the means and resource to accomplish it.
During the July 8 weekend at the Home of Compassion, the Launch Out candidates reflected on the writings of Jim and Evelyn Whitehead and Bishop John McRaith. They also reflected on and prayed with scripture passages.
Sr Elizabeth suggested we ‘chew the word, don’t swallow it’ and that conversion is a growing understanding of what it means to be gift.
The retreat ended with the candidates attending the Eucharist at St Anne’s Newtown and then reflecting prayerfully together on the readings of the day. The seed had been sown, as in the gospel. Where it falls is important. The candidates were urged to allow the seed to be nourished and watered, to grow and develop.
One very important gift to facilitate this growth is the Stewardship Institute. Candidates were encouraged to think of this as a great compost heap, where the seed can flourish and prosper, where a continuation of the process will deepen and develop.
This grace-filled retreat enabled the blessings of silence and prayer to challenge, enlighten and gift us.