Theology of Stewardship
(Bishop Robert Morneau)
Overview of Stewardship
Stewardship is a way of life. For Christians who follow in the way of the Lord Jesus, stewardship is an expression of discipleship. When we recognize that God is the origin of all life, the giver of everything that we have and are, the source of our freedom and giftedness, the healthy person responds by thanking God through prayer, by serving God and God's people through ministry, by sharing our financial resources with those in need. Stewardship is a way of life based upon conversion of heart.
- receive God's gifts gratefully
- nurture God's gifts responsibly
- share God's gifts justly and charitably
- return those gifts to God abundantly
Stewards share. What has been given to us is not simply for our own use. Recipients are to become benefactors. Therefore, we return to the Lord and our needy sisters and brothers a just and sacrificial portion of all that comes our way.
A theology of stewardship looks to the future. Our lives here on earth are relatively short. One day we return to the Lord from whom we came. If we have lived in Christ and in the Spirit, then we will bear fruit, abundant fruit. Stewards yield a rich harvest.
"Stewardship plays an important role in the lives of people who seek to follow Christ. In particular, Christians must be stewards of their personal vocations, for it is these that show how, according to the circumstances of their individual lives, God wants them to cherish and serve a broad range of interests and concerns: life and health, along with their intellectual and spiritual well-being and that of others; material goods and resources; the natural environment; the cultural heritage of humankind."
Obviously, these gardens overlap and intersect. However, each of them calls for a certain amount of tending and care. Each person must decide on how we allocate our limited time and resources in attempting to be good stewards of these many gardens.
Stewardship: A Way of Life
Stewardship of Prayer
Stewards nurture their relationship with God by having a prayer life. Whether that is two minutes or two hours a day, listening and responding to God is at the core of the disciple's life. At times, the prayer will be that of thanksgiving. At other times, the prayer will be that of praise or petition or forgiveness. Whether private or communal prayer, the purpose is to stay connected to God so as to do the divine will. This dimension of stewardship can be measured to some degree. Of the 168 hours per week, of the 144 daily ten-minutes slots, how much time do we use in prayer? And, of course, the most important prayer of all is the Eucharist in which we hear God's word and receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Stewards are Eucharistic people.
Stewardship of Service
A theology of ministry and service emphasizes that it is not so much that we do things for others but rather Jesus is doing something for others through us. Being aware of the difference between "for" and "through" changes our whole manner of service. That is why prayer is so important: it keeps reminding us that all stewardship is ultimately the work of the Lord taking place through the actions of faithful disciples.
Jesus came not to be served but to serve. Through baptism and confirmation, we are called to a life of commitment to the wounded of the world. The Eucharist strengthens us in that mission and the Christian community hopefully supports us in our responsibilities.
Stewardship of Sharing
Stewards are generous people. Again, they have a grateful heart realizing that all gifts come from the Lord. They feel an obligation to return a portion (be it 3%, 6%, 10%, 20%) to the Church and other charities. They refuse to be co-opted by a culture of greed and live a life of hoarding. A tough question has to be asked: can a person claim to be a disciple of the Lord if they are not sharing generously of their financial resources?
A strange phenomenon happens in the stewardship world. The greater the generosity and the greater the sacrifice, the greater the joy. Joy, according to some authors, is impossible without generosity. And as one author states, joy is the infallible sign of God's presence.
Weekend: Saturday Vigil 5:30pm
Sunday 8:00am, 10:30am and 5:30pm
Weekdays: Monday through Friday 8:00am
Holy Days of Obligation
8:00am and 7:00pm
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday 4:30 to 5:15pm or by apt.
Saturday Vigil 7:30pm (Spanish)