Today’s readings are all about stewardship. I know, I know, it’s a big buzzword in the Church. It can mean anything from giving 10% of you money to the Church all the way to serving the poor. But thankfully Jesus teaches us what proper stewardship is.
My fiance and I recently had a meeting with our spiritual director about stewardship. During the conversation I felt a little awkward because I realized that I was not doing enough and that we had not talked about this enough for our future marriage.
But as the conversation went on I was encouraged with some practical examples that I would like to share:
Put aside a special fund every month. This is where you will pull your tithing from, but it is also a fund you will use whenever you want to treat friends to a nice dinner, help the homeless man on the corner, or go out of your way to buy a gift for someone. This ensures that stewardship is not just money going to the Church, but to others as well.
Realize that the call to give is a God given calling and our hearts are restless until we truly give. Whether it’s money, service, action, or the classic time, talent, treasure, every time we give we are participating intimately in the divinity of God. Gaudium et Spes even goes so far as to say that, “We can never fully find ourselves except through a sincere gift of self.” This is because God himself is an eternal gift, and because we are made in His image, we are not fully alive until we truly give. This is what makes stewardship about more than just finances, but about the whole person.
Figure out the amount of gift that stretches you. Part of stewardship is humbling ourselves before God and realizing that all we have is because of Him. Stewardship should make us a little uncomfortable in the sense that it pulls us out of ourselves and makes us rely on God. Think of the bible story of the woman with a few small coins. She gave all she had and trusted in the Lord’s providence. Now, obviously we have to be prudent, but the more we stretch and give, the happier we ultimately become and the more we rely on Our Father.
The first reading speaks of love conquering all and of the need to give to others. Then the Gospel tells us what happens when we become selfish and use our means to exploit or take advantage. Let’s take a hint from Jesus today and try to commit to one practical way we will live out stewardship this week. From all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!
Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.