A few months back, my wife and I helped move my oldest son into his first real apartment. He was moving to start his first real job and was excited and cautious at the same time. Moving him in reminded me of when his mother and I were first starting out.
We all are faced with decisions in life where we are met with uncertainty or fear. Often, our stewardship is limited by our inability to trust fully in God. If you find yourself unable to face the future or to make the big decisions in life, where does your trust lie?
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.