We are in the midst of our Stewardship Renewal Month. This weekend every registered parish family will be asked to turn in their intention card. I pray everyone has used the past three weeks to reflect on what their commitment of time, talent and treasure can and will be. What will we offer to God and the Church, especially our Church of St. Edward?
As generous distributors of God’s manifold grace,
put your gifts at the service of one another,
each in the measured received.
What is Christian Stewardship in today’s world? According to a recent U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship:
A Christian steward receives God’s gifts gratefully;
cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner;
shares them in justice and love with others; and,
returns them with increase to the Lord.
There is a difference between stewardship based on duty and stewardship based on love. When stewardship is based on love, it involves the joyful giving of time, talent and treasure as a steward of God. The joyful giving, in turn, results in a higher level of happiness and pleasure in the steward.
When we give joyfully through love, we take pleasure in the quality of our gift. When we truly love, we also take pleasure in the quality of the gifts given by others to those we love — even though those gifts may be lesser or more than ours.
How can we learn to give joyfully and to take pleasure in the gifts of others?
How can we encourage others to give joyfully out of love?
It is critical that all persons recognize they have unique important gifts. For each person the blend of gifts is different. These gifts are equally appreciated and welcomed within the body of Christ.
It is important that all persons recognize that others have a different blend of gifts that are as important as their own. Different blends of gifts are complementary and necessary for the body of Christ.
Jesus recognizes the gifts that each person has and accepts them and affirms those gifts.
The Stewardship of Time asks:
How much time do I spend helping others and my community?
How much time do I spend learning about God, the Church and my faith?
The Stewardship of Talent asks:
What talents have I been given?
How have I used these talents as a member of the body of Christ?
How have I encouraged others to use their talents?
The Stewardship of Treasure asks:
Have I given back to the Lord a share of that which God has given to me?
Have I placed God first in the giving of treasure?
Have I given treasure to the Lord through a conscious decision?
As Christian Stewards we are called to use all that has been given to us to wisely manage God’s world and universe, to care for God’s people and creatures, and to assist each other in our relationship with God. May God bless us in our efforts to be good stewards.