We Are Called to be Grateful Givers
Every baptized Christian has a vocation, and no matter who we are – rich or poor, young or old, educated or uneducated, successful in the eyes of the world or just managing to make ends meet – each and every one of us has something important to give to the building up of our Church.
God has blessed each individual with talents, abilities, resources and opportunities that we are called to nurture and develop for our own good and for the good of the human family. Because God has appointed us as stewards or caretakers of the world in which we live, we do not really own or possess anything. Instead, we act on behalf of a loving but demanding God, who expects us to render an account of our use of the resources that have been entrusted to our care.
According to the Gospel, we have all received abundant gifts from a good and loving God, but in return for our many blessings, each of us is expected to show our gratitude by developing our talents and by giving generously of our time, talents and treasure.
Stewardship, as a way of life, helps us to use the material things that we have been given in positive, life-givng ways. True stewardship is spirituality in action. It is the daily decision to be open to the presence and power of God’s love, especially as God’s love is manifested in concrete, practical things – like what we do with our time, how we use our talents and how we spend our money.
Stewardship also means sharing what we have and who we are with others – with our families; with friends and neighbors; with people locally and those far away. It’s important for us to share our resources with others for two reasons: first, because all of the good things that God has given us are meant to be shared, and second, because each of us has a need to give.
Stewardship involves prayer, reflection and discussion, and learning. It requires gratitude, generosity and a willingness to be held accountable for how we have developed and used the gifts and talents we’ve received from a gracious and loving God.
Good stewards recognize that everything we have is meant to be given away. Stewardship is giving from substance, not because we have an obligation to give, as when we pay our taxes, but because we care about each other and about the world in which we live.
Every one of us is called to stewardship. Saying “yes” to Jesus’ invitation isn’t easy, but it makes all the difference in the way we live our lives every day.