“Without God, we forget that all is gift and we begin to think ourselves as owners, instead of stewards, masters of the universe instead of servants of the one Lord who has called us to nurture and develop His gifts wisely and well for the good of all.” –Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
As Catholics, we are called to be stewards of all that we have been given: our time, talents, bodies, material blessings, and creation as a whole. It is convenient to think of stewardship as a time-bound program or an initiative with an end in mind, but our faith teaches us that stewardship demands more. It is a way of life and a constant response to God’s love for us.
Stewardship comes with the understanding that we are merely administrators, and not owners of our blessings, and that we are called to respect and share our blessings in gratitude for what God has given us. In modern society, this calling has become even more difficult because it runs counter to the culture of consumerism and materialism that is prevalent today. Our culture dictates that we need to accumulate more wealth and more material goods for ourselves, expecting that these will bring status, comfort, or even happiness. Our Catholic faith teaches otherwise. Though we need not reject money or material things, our faith calls for us to develop these blessings and to share them for the good of others.
This is seems like a difficult calling, and we may feel that we are being asked to radically change our lifestyles. But we can start by reflecting on the small choices we make daily, and ask ourselves: What do I do with what I am given? Am I using these blessings in a way that gives life and enriches the well-being of my neighbors? Or am I using them in a way that is wasteful, or that brings death to others, and deprives them of their needs? Do I have genuine attitude of gratitude for these blessings, that I feel the need to share them? Do I let my relationship with material things get in the way of my relationship with God and with His people?
As published in the September 18 issue of the Parish Bulletin.