by Karen Pundsack
Karen Pundsack is Faith Formation Coordinator at St. Martin Catholic Church (Harvest of Hope Area Catholic Community) and a trained facilitator for the Called & Gifted program. She partners with Bridge Builders for a Thriving Mission to help people discern their spiritual gifts and callings. This article appeared originally in the newsletter of St. Martin Catholic Church in St. Martin, MN. Used with permission.
Do you know what God’s plans are for the weekend?
Have you asked Him? We often ask each other about our weekend plans when we see our friends and neighbors. God has a plan with us each day to build His kingdom on earth. It is up to us to ask Him how we can be part of those plans.
In 1 Kings 17:19-16 we hear about a widow who was down to her last bit of flour. Similarly, in Mark 12:41-44 we meet a woman who gave two small coins. Both had faith enough to surrender to God’s plan by giving all they had. In the first reading, God answers this call by making sure the flour did not go empty nor the oil run dry. In the Gospel, Jesus recognizes the poor widow’s generosity. We often think of stewardship in terms of giving of our “treasure.” God also asks for our time and talent.
Are we giving all we have to God’s plan?
I recently had the opportunity to take part in the Called and Gifted program from the St. Catherine of Siena Institute. Called and Gifted is a deep dive into the charisms God has gifted every baptized and confirmed Catholic. Common charisms include encouragement, mercy, teaching, hospitality, intercessory prayer, craftsmanship, music, writing and service. We are each unique parts of the body of Christ. Everyone has an individual call from God to share with others.
Having a deeper understanding of my charisms has brought me to do things I never thought I would do, like writing a church bulletin article or co-leading the St. Martin faith formation
program. It has also helped me develop a deeper prayer life and relationship with Jesus Christ.
What if we all used our gifts?
We live in a post-Christian America. According to a 2018 Pew Research study, the fastest-
growing religious group is “none” or no religion at all. This shift in demographics is shaping the future of our church. What would the world look like if we all were actively using our charisms in our daily lives to share the joy of the Gospel?
Pope Francis has asked us to pray that every baptized person may witness a life with the flavor of the Gospel. Writer and theologian C.S. Lewis said, “Next to the blessed sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” We are called to be missionary disciples - to spread the Gospel to the whole world. We witness the Gospel to our neighbor through our personal actions.
God is at work!
God is at work in your life and is doing all He can to get your attention. The first step is to take time to get to know Jesus and what He is asking from you each day. Our parishes offer
Eucharistic adoration, which is a great time to sit, be still and listen to His voice. Prayer and
scripture reading are ways to hear His plans. He is asking us to give all we have to help Him
build the kingdom.