What really matters to you? What’s the main thing in your life? I have witnessed once-strong disciples place politics, wealth, career, and family ahead of Jesus over time. All those things are enticing, but they are things that change. The one thing that does not change is God.
Some of us are thinking about taking a stewardship way of life seriously, but we are just not ready yet. But the truth is, we don’t have to be in any particular state of life or have a specific financial portfolio to start giving ourselves to God – he takes us as we are now.
Discernment should always be an important part of any good steward’s way of life. If we give simply for the sake of giving, that may not always be the best use of our gifts. In order to gain the most fruit from the seeds we plant, we must plant wisely.
To be made new in Christ, maybe we need many conversion stories. As we continually strive to pick up our crosses and follow Him, we fall away and need to come back to Him. Each time, we have a new story. Each time, God’s love and healing are profound.
I had never heard someone speak about a stewardship way of life back then. If I am honest, the primary message I heard in those days was along the lines of “We need to be as good as we are able.” Sacrifice was only at Lent, disciples were people in the Bible, and generosity mostly had to do with the collection basket and the poor box at the church entrance. I even went to Catholic schools!
When we take seriously our stewardship way of life, we see our lives as not truly belonging to ourselves. We want to offer our very existence to God and the Body of Christ. Let us pray that enough of us will choose the holy way so all the world may see that God is real, Jesus is alive, and we are ONE.
We were created for community. Human beings are not meant to be alone. As each of us grows in our relationship with Jesus, we find ourselves drawn further into community. The fruits that result from my stewardship and your stewardship will never amount to more than what we can produce together.
Through our stewardship, we allow our parish community to shine like a city on a hill for others to see and then be drawn toward Jesus Christ. It is about leading people to heaven. Our actions of stewardship do not point toward us but instead to the one who calls us to this life.
As Christians, we can find ourselves hiding behind our words. The world will only know whom it is we serve if we love like Jesus, we act like Jesus, and we serve others like Jesus. Our love should be an instrument of our evangelization. Our words must become true, not because we say them enough, but because they are true.
We believe that worldly values, immorality, or evil itself can take us away from God’s love and protection. But there are few greater lies than this. The reality is that if we find ourselves far away from God, the only force that carried us away was our own choices.
The stewardship way of life demands of us a certain maturity of discipleship. Just as a child is not yet ready to be a parent, an immature disciple may not yet be ready to sacrifice regardless of the cost or understand the true value of his generosity. We are growing not only in maturity, but in the ability to trust in God and how to listen for the call as well.