"As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace."
The word "stewardship" refers to the Catholic approach and use of 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’s Kingdom. Everything that God has given us is intended to serve His divine plan. Therefore, our life is to be lived in gratitude to God. In a variety of ways, we as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, share our time, talent, and treasure to build up His Church and make our world a better place.
Two convictions in particular underlie our understanding of stewardship:
- Mature disciples make a conscious, firm decision, carried out in action, to be followers of Jesus Christ, no matter the cost.
- Beginning in conversion, change of mind and heart, this commitment is expressed not in a single action, nor in a series of actions over time, but in an entire way of life. It means committing one’s very life to the Lord.
Stewardship is an expression of discipleship, with the power to change how we understand and live out our lives. Disciples who practice stewardship recognize God as the origin of life, the giver of freedom, the source of all they have, are, and will be. They are deeply aware of the truth that "The Lord's are the earth and its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it" (Psalm 24:1). They know themselves to be recipients and caretakers of God’s many gifts. They are grateful for what they have received and eager to cultivate their gifts out of love for God and one another.
Stewardship is based on the understanding that all we have, and all we are, are gifts from God – our time, our talent, our skills, our resources, our possessions, and especially the gift of life itself.
As our parish embarks on this stewardship process, moving ever closer to embracing its way of life, let us remember that God desires us to FREELY choose to use our gifts. We are motivated by our love, gratitude, and justice.