Stewardship is rooted in service to others. All of today’s readings focus on service, and give many different, uplifting examples.
In the first reading, our father in faith Abraham recognizes his three unexpected guests as a visit from the Lord; some scholars think this is an early appearance of the Holy Trinity in the Old Testament. Abraham invites them to rest in the shade of the great tree, helps prepare a sizeable meal, and waits upon them (Genesis 18:3-10). As a result, Abraham and Sarah are rewarded for their service with a son in their old age.
The psalmist tells us a steward walks the path of righteousness and justice, speaks well of others and doesn’t do them any kind of harm. A steward doesn’t cheat or burden others financially or otherwise, or take bribes from or against anyone (Psalm 15:2-5). If we live our lives in this way, then we will live in peace and in the presence of the Lord.
We can really relate to today’s wonderful Gospel story about Jesus visiting Martha and Mary’s home. Anxious that everything is perfect to welcome and serve Jesus, her special friend and guest, Martha does her best but feels abandoned and overloaded. As a reward, Jesus acknowledges and sympathizes with her worries, and praises Mary for taking time to listen to what he wants to share with them (Luke 10:38-42).
Saint Paul acknowledges his mission as a steward to share God’s word with everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike, and bring it forth to fruition (Colossians 1:24-26). As stewards, we should heed Jesus’ advice, that blessed are they who “have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance” (Luke 8:15). Since we reap what we sow, we can be confident that our efforts are both our harvest and reward.
--Jim Wollak, Parishioner
Saint Brendan Church in San Francisco. Check out our exciting featured news articles.