The word ‘steward’ literally means ‘manager of the house’. In the context of the Bible, it means “utilizing and managing all the resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation”. In other words stewardship is managing everything God brings into a disciple’s life in a manner that honors God and impacts eternity. There are four basic principles of stewardship. The first principle is to receive God’s gifts with gratitude. Receiving reminds us of dependence on God. Gratitude acknowledges abundance. The second principle is to cultivate God’s gifts responsibly. God has entrusted His house to us. We are accountable to God for managing gifts given to us and we do so for the glory of God and in the service of humankind. The third principle is to share God’s gifts lovingly and in justice with others. The self-emptying sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is for us a model of sharing with love and in justice. The fourth principle is to return God’s gifts with an increase. It is often the fear of losing what we have, coupled with inertia that keeps us from giving. Faith in God’s love and abiding care gives us the confidence to give so that our gifts may bear fruit.
As we live out our baptismal commitment to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit united by love, we gradually grow in the life of discipleship so that our will and God’s will increasingly coincide and God becomes more deeply present to us that we are to ourselves. Stewardship changes our priorities so that self-abandonment becomes our will and God becomes our joy. Just as God loved us by putting on flesh in the person of Jesus, so we love God by putting on Christ and loving others. By working for justice, caring for those in need and putting on abilities and resources at the service of others, we contribute to the mission of the church in continuing Jesus’ saving work in the world. Stewardship is understood in its three aspects: stewardship of time, talent and treasure. There are a good number of people in our parish who share their time, talent, and treasure and thereby become an instrument of transformation in our parish family. There are also others who just walk in and walk out without much commitment to our parish family. I am challenging those today to have a sense of ownership. It is my parish family. It is your parish family. It is our parish family. Every one of us has something to contribute to make our parish family better. I am challenging everyone to become an agent of transformation by sharing a little more of time, talent, and treasure. May the Lord enable us to become good and faithful stewards.