In this Sunday’s Gospel passage from St. Mark, Jesus declares that “All things are possible for God.”
He says this to his disciples who have become afraid that, in the end, only a very few might be saved. Their fear is based on a most challenging invitation that he had just made to a young man who had questions about how to be saved: Jesus said to him “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and then you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” Now I ask you, “What is the title given to our St. Rita of Cascia?” —That’s right, “The Saint of the Impossible.”
On the back of the stewardship pamphlet that you received today, “We are The Body of Christ,” you will find a picture of our patroness, St. Rita. As her beautifully sculptured image gazes upon those kneeling and seeking her intercession, she seems to say, “I, like you, heard the words of Jesus’ invitation in the gospel, then, come and follow me. Trusting in him, I believed and followed.” At the same time, she looks to the cross and embraces Jesus’ crown of thorns. The mark on her forehead bears witness to how intimately she had entered into the paschal mystery. Her peaceful countenance speaks eloquently of the peace and reward of eternal happiness that can also be ours if we too “come and follow.”
What I would offer as your pastor, is that our invitation to stewardship today, is the very same invitation that Jesus makes in the Gospel of Mark. You see, St. Rita’s life was one of faithful stewardship, of being a disciple, and of living the Holy Eucharist she received. She relied upon her following of Jesus to give meaning to her vocation to be a daughter to her parents, a wife to her husband, a mother to her children, and, yes, eventually, even a vowed nun. In other words, she placed her time, talent, and treasure in the service of the Lord, so that she might know, one day, her “treasure in heaven.”
Faith is the undeniable ingredient here; it’s the leaven in the dough. As we fill out our commitment cards this weekend, I simply pray that we believe enough—have faith enough. I pray that we would, like our own St. Rita, be such good stewards of his Kingdom, that by God’s own grace, whatever of heaven we can be instruments of here on this Earth (here at St. Rita), will win us the corresponding everlasting treasure in heaven that Jesus himself promised.