My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Earlier this year, I published Returning to Grace: A Pastoral Letter on the Eucharist. In this letter, I offered some thoughts on the meaning of the Eucharist and its central place in our lives. I also tried to address in positive, hope-filled ways the challenges we face as we emerge from the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many spiritual, social, physical and financial hardships it imposed on our people, our society and our Church.
All of us—clergy, religious and lay faithful—have a responsibility to invite and encourage our fellow Catholics to return to the grace of the Eucharist. I see this as a stewardship responsibility, an opportunity “to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace" (1 Pt 4:10).
To help raise awareness about the importance of Christian stewardship in our daily lives and in our pastoral ministry, I have written a “pastoral reflection” entitled Stewards of God’s Grace that contains ideas first proposed by the American bishops in the 1992 pastoral letter Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response. My reflections on stewardship are intended to reinforce the ideas contained in Returning to Grace, my pastoral letter on the Eucharist. I urge you to read my stewardship reflections, Stewards of God's Grace, in full.
Returning to the grace of the Eucharist provides us with new opportunities to invite all our sisters and brothers in northern New Jersey to discover the richness and joy of life in Christ. Christian discipleship compels us to be good stewards of all God’s gifts, especially our Lord’s gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist. As individuals, families, parishes and as a diocese, may we use this opportunity to renew our commitment to the spirituality of stewardship as a way of encouraging full participation in the Eucharistic Mystery.
Sincerely yours in Christ the Redeemer,
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.