"Men should regard us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God…Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a person be found faithful to his gifts."
(1 Corinthians 4:1)
The word "stewardship" refers to the Catholic approach to the gifts that God has bestowed upon us. Stewardship is living out a commitment to be Christ-centered rather than self-centered. Profound gratitude, justice and love become the fundamental motives for giving back to God. Everything that God has given to us is intended to serve the divine plan. Therefore, our life is to be lived in gratitude toward God. In a variety of ways, we as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, share our time, talent and treasure to build up the Church and make our world a better place.
Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk wrote, "The expression of our gratitude, the response we make to God's generosity to us is not a matter of paying God back for what we have received so as to even the score. We can never even the score with God, because God's generosity so far surpasses any capacity of ours to respond. How do you pay God back for a sunrise? We can't offer recompense to God. All we can do is hand on to others in some way some of the generosity, some of the gifts that we have received. We express our thanks to God by being godly. We acknowledge God's generosity to us by being generous to others. This is what stewardship is all about.
Stewardship is not primarily a fund-raising mechanism. It is a pattern for a whole way of life, a way of life that is guided and energized and given meaning by the generosity of God and by our response to that generosity."
The U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship states: "What identifies a steward? Safeguarding material and human resources and using them responsibly are one answer; so is generous giving of time, talent, and treasure. But being a Christian steward means more. As Christian stewards, we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.
Stewards of God’s gifts are not passive beneficiaries. We cooperate with God in our own redemption and in the redemption of others.
We are also obliged to be stewards of the Church—collaborators and cooperators in continuing the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, which is the Church’s essential mission. This mission—proclaiming and teaching, serving and sanctifying—is our task. It is the personal responsibility of each one of us as stewards of the Church."
St. Bartholomew Church is more than a place to visit once a week. It is an on-going source of spiritual strength and a center for learning, teaching, and sharing our faith experience. Most importantly, our parish is a community of believers where what is experienced in the Eucharist transforms our daily lives—at home, in the workplace and in society. Every man, woman and child is called to care for and share God's gifts.
Last Updated on Sunday, February 05 2012 01:06