“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” – From 1 Pt 4:10
The words “steward” and “stewardship” are Biblical terms that in modern day we often only associate with time, talent, and treasure. Stewardship is a larger concept than this, however.
“As Christian stewards, we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.” – From Stewardship, A Disciple’s Response: U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter
- Stewards are disciples – we follow Jesus no matter the cost, we experience conversion and commit our very selves to the Lord, we reflect a deep understanding of what it means to live and how life can be lived, we are grateful for the gifts God provides, and we are eager to use these gifts to show love for God and love for one another.
- Stewards care for the world – we appreciate God’s creation, we work to care for creation and the dignity of life, and through our work they build up the world and the Kingdom of God.
- Stewards live their vocations – we attend to God’s call for living out our lives and embrace our role in carrying out God’s divine plan.
- Stewards care for the Church – we cooperate with God in our own redemption and the redemption of others. Stewards carry out the mission of Christ in the domestic Church. We work to build community so the Church remains a vital source of service to others, and we support the work of the Church (the parish, diocese and universal Church) through time, money, prayer, and personal service.
It is not always easy to be a good steward. Dominant secular culture often contradicts our Catholic convictions: we are encouraged to focus on ourselves and our pleasures instead of on true spiritual realities. It is hard for many today to accept the challenge of being the stewards Christ calls us to be.
Yet, intense joy comes to those who take the risk to live out life as disciples of Christ. Living for the goodness of God is a generous way of living life. We all can be good stewards of the gifts and talents we each possess. Let us pray for the courage, the strength, and the desire to care for all that God gives to us.