This month’s Characteristic of a Christian Steward is Sacrifice. January’s Biblical Role Model is the Twelve Apostles.
by Deacon Tim Sullivan
When the mother of the apostles James and John asked Jesus to give her sons the highest places in His kingdom, Jesus responded by asking the two brothers, “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” What did Jesus mean?
When Cain killed his brother, Abel, God exclaimed to Cain, “Listen, your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!” God heard the cry of Abel’s blood and is going to atone for Cain’s brutality. The question for each one of us then becomes, “Do we hear the cry of Abel’s blood, the cry of all those in the world who are victims of inhumanity, and how are we responding?”
In the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 17, God gave Moses the instruction that no human shall consume the blood of an animal, since the blood of any creature contains the essence of that creature’s being. A human would never merge the life of a lower form of being with his own.
So at the Last Supper, when Jesus lifted up the cup and said, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant,” and offered it to the apostles, they would have understood that He was sharing His life, the very essence of who He was, with them. Hebrews 12:24 tells us that the sacrificial blood of Jesus cries out more powerfully than the blood of Abel.
What this all comes down to is that when we, like the apostles, receive the sacrificial blood of Jesus, by the power of the divine life which then becomes available to us, we commit to sacrifice ourselves for those who are suffering in our world.
Stewardship Service Reflections
January 1 (Solemnity of Mary): Do whatever he tells you. -John 2:5 (Mary’s last recorded words in the Bible.)
January 8 (Epiphany of Our Lord): God can take any small offering that we make and multiply it.- James Martin, SJ