“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10)
Each of us has a “calling” to gratitude and responsibility – in our families and friendships, in our work, in whatever we do and wherever we go. Stewardship is a spirituality – a way of life – that should compel us to act in four principal ways:
Receive the gifts of God with gratitude
Cultivate those gifts responsibly
Share them lovingly in justice with others
Stand before the Lord in a spirit of accountability
Each of us must decide how we will live out a stewardship way of life. We first must recognize that everything in life is a gift from God. We then must desire to be true and committed disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. As members of the Catholic Church, Jesus calls us to be His disciples. This has astonishing implications:
Mature disciples make a conscious decision to follow Jesus, no matter what the cost.
Disciples experience conversion – a life shaping change of heart and mind – and commit themselves to the Lord.
Christian stewards respond in a particular way to discipleship. It radically transforms the way they live their lives.
“Jesus’ disciples and Christian stewards recognize God as the origin of life, giver of freedom and source of all things. We are grateful for the gifts we have received and are eager to use them to show our love for God and for one another. We look to the life and teaching of Jesus for guidance in living as Christian stewards.” (USCCB – Pastoral Letter on Stewardship – Click here to read full.)
“I am convinced that if we can make stewardship part of our faith life we can truly change the world. We can make this a much better place in which to live – not just for us, but for everyone. I am convinced of this because I am convinced that it will attack the selfishness that besets all of us. It turns the mine to ours; it turns self to others. It turns us from just loving ourselves to loving others as Jesus loves them.”
Bishop John J. McRaith
Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky