This weekend, we begin our Stewardship "weekends" here at Spirit of Christ. The autumn months afford beautiful readings from Scripture which focus and call out attention to God's call to stewardship. We trust that you will be enlightened by the readings, homilies, and reflections in the coming weeks. However, we know that it is not simply a matter of listening to the Word, it must be acted upon. And, stewardship is essentially a conscious action which is a choice for Christ and His Church. In Scripture, we see the beauty and plan of God's creation. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "We believe that God created the world according to his wisdom. It is not the product of any necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance. We believe that it proceeds from God's free will; he wanted to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom and goodness." (C.C.C. #295).
Clearly, God's plan of creation is for our benefit. It is meant to draw us closer to Him, into a union which expresses itself not just in a love for God, but also in a love for others. We express our love for God's plan for our own lives by our stance of stewardship. In being mindful of what we have been given, being ever grateful for those gifts, and demonstrative of a willingness to share what we have; we express stewardship. This call to stewardship is not intended to give us a warm feeling of beneficence, but to fulfill a compact with God. God gives so much to us, and we give back to God.
What is a "good steward"? This is a fundamental question which we all ask of ourselves. There are some definite "markers". First, a good steward is one who is grateful, thanking God daily for the blessings he or she has received. Second, a good steward is one who is responsible and accountable with the blessings that God has bestowed, not only using them prudently, but also making sure that they do not atrophy. Third, a good steward is one who shares God's gifts out of a sense of love and justice.. And, finally, a good steward is one who makes a return to the Lord with increase.
Take some time the next few weeks to listen carefully to the readings at Mass, pray that the homily leads you to deeper contemplation. And, look at your own commitment to stewardship. This is not simply a legislative requirement, our key to eternity. No, it is reflective of a life lived with God at the center, giving glory to him through our actions, and showing that love and devotion in our generous stewardship service to others. It is a call to us all from the days of Adam and Eve. It is truly rooted in God's loving plan of creation.