Stewardship is so much more than our monetary offerings! It is being grateful for everything and wanting to care for it because it belongs to God.
Need a reminder about gratitude? View this short video.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, That there may be food in my house. Put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, And see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you, and pour down upon you blessing without measure!” Malachi 3:10
To be good stewards is to use our time, talents, and treasure to build the Kingdom of God. We use what we need for ourselves wisely and then work together to help those in need around us. That is the message of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the Care of our Common Home. Stewardship is responding to Jesus; the greatest commandment is to love God, out of that love we want to love our neighbor as ourselves.
For each of us, the call to be a good steward is different. It can also be different for each of us at different points in our lives. For instance, a young family may not have much treasure to give but has the gift of time. A retired person on fixed income may not have treasure to share but have more time. We must each decide for ourselves, with the help of a community of believers, to discern how God is calling us to be good stewards.
For more on Stewardship check out:
- The Stewardship e-bulletin
- International Catholic Stewardship Council’s reflections
- Spirituality of Stewardship from USCCB
Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, encourages us to be good stewards of the earth and our neighbors around the world. Consider that 20% of the world’s people possesses 85% of the world’s resources! (We, who live in North America, are part of the 85%!) Happily, people are starting to recognize that we can make changes that will better balance resources, living out the principles of our Catholic Social Teaching. Locally, we have “Heat Smart, Cool Smart” to help us reduce the need for fossil fuels and cool the planet. We can also be educated and act through Catholic Climate Covenant and Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Out of gratitude, we are urged to share generously of whatever talents, time and wealth God has entrusted to us. (Romans 12:6-8)
Ultimately, stewardship has three aspects: Time, Talent & Treasure.
TIME: Good stewards take care of the things they are given or inherit. Will we value what we have inherited by pitching in and helping to get the jobs of the parish completed (mowing, cleaning, gardening, counting, ordering, etc.)? Many hands make light work. Check the bulletin for current needs, take them to prayer and listen for God’s response. Whether or not you felt convicted to become involved in any of the ministries or committees of the church, your prayers will help.
TALENT: What are your gifts? Take the Spiritual Gifts Assessment, which will also help you to see your physical gifts. Print or email your results to Fr. Leo.
Wondering if you are living a balanced life? Take the Spiritual_Pulse_Self_Assessment, based on the book, The Power of Pause: Becoming More by Doing Less by Terry Hershey.
TREASURE: In the Old & New Testaments we are encouraged to give the first 10% of our “fruits” to God as a way of acknowledging that it all came from Him to begin with, and our gratitude for all we receive. This is called “tithing.” Its use is for the upkeep of the Church, but also to meet the needs of the poor, widows and orphans. God loves a cheerful giver. When figuring your 10% (or more!) include what to give in your weekly offering (for the needs of the local church), what you will give to the many second collections like the Campaign for Human Development, which happens every September and reaches the poor locally and throughout the US, the missions of the Pope, The Catholic Ministries Appeal, which supports the work of the Diocese and your generosity to other local efforts. Through WeShare, our online electronic giving service, you can set automatic deductions from your credit card or bank account to come to us, second collections and The Catholic Ministries Appeal.
God is counting on us to be His Missionary Disciples. It is not necessary to travel to some foreign country as The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal do. It can be as close to home as befriending someone who is having a hard time. Can Christ count on us?