Fr Christ's Stewardship Message
“Those that Seek the Lord Shall Never be in Want of Any Good Thing”
Psalm 34:10 from the Service of the Artoclasia-Blessing of 5 loaves
One of my favorite
biblical stories is the feeding of 5,000, where a little boy offers his humble means; Christ blesses the offering
and the nurturing miracle of the five loaves and two fish unfolds.
Is this really simply a miracle of bread and fish?
I don’t think so.
What I do see is a miracle of the power of love; a miracle between the
one who loves, Jesus Christ, and the beloved, you and me....more
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…learning how to be a responsible and concerned caretaker of Christ’s
Church; it is learning how to enjoy Church life and be happy in Church
work, for in Her dwells the fullness of the Spirit of God.
active commitment to use all our time, talent and treasure for the
benefit of humankind in grateful acknowledgment of Christ’s redeeming
…caring for the needs of others.
…offering one’s self to God as He offered Himself to us.
a person does after saying “I believe…”, as proof of that belief.
…devotion and service to God and His Church as persons, as families, as
parish, as diocese/metropolis, as national Church and as Church
are Called to Bear Fruit
the Last Supper, as we read in Chapter 15 of the Gospel of John, Jesus
instructed His disciples, “I Am the Vine; you are the branches.” He was
telling us that the purpose of our abiding in Him is that we may bear
fruit for God in the world. “By this My Father is glorified, that you
bear much fruit…” (John 15:8). Just as the vine bears fruit only through
its branches, so Jesus has chosen to work in the world through us. We
are the members of His Body. We are the branches through which the True
Vine must bear fruit. We bear fruit when we serve and support God and
How Do We Abide in Jesus?
We abide in Jesus
Christ when follow His example and love, serve and support the Church
which is His Body. When we abide in Christ, we express this through
generosity and devotion, especially in our financial stewardship and
acts of personal generosity. Bearing fruit in the world is the visible
result of our abiding in Christ.
Are You Connected to the True Vine?
branches of the vine, we keep ourselves spiritually healthy by
maintaining our connection to the True Vine which is Jesus Christ. We do
this through prayer, fasting, worship, participation in the sacraments,
good works, as well as by avoiding destructive behavior, divisiveness
and gossip. When we connect ourselves to Jesus, His life will flow
through us and we will bear good fruit.
Are You Bearing Fruit?
know the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand in the wilderness ---
there was no food, except for one boy who had five loaves and two fish –
not much when you consider 5000 men.
But Jesus blessed the loaves, multiplied them and used them to
feed the 5000.
That boy did his best with what he had. And Jesus used it to perform a
Just like the boy who offered his five loaves and two fish, we offer
what we have – however great or small our gift. If we do this
prayerfully and in humility, God will take our gifts and multiply them
in order to feed His people.
The Local Body of Christ
In the Divine
Liturgy, the bishop prays that the Lord will visit and confirm the
vineyard which is the parish, the local Body of Christ, which the Lord
planted with His own right hand (Ps 79:15-16).
He Provides that We May Bear Fruit
Saint John Chrysostom
emphasized Christ’s continual presence with us -- the True Vine that is
always connected to the branches giving them life. Christ shows His
great love for us by "remaining continually with those who shall bring
forth fruit; for it is needful to enjoy His aid and so to bear fruit" (Homily
77 on the Gospel of Saint John).
Christ, in His great love for us, has joined Himself to us and offers us
all that we need to bear good fruit that will lead us and others to
The Vine also Needs the Branches
branches need the Vine for life but the Vine also needs the branches in
order to bear fruit in the world. We are His hands, His feet, His mouth.