Three financial auditors occupied our parish offices earlier this week. As part of the Archdiocese’s normal policies and procedures, they were sent to conduct a routine examination of our books and to review our fiscal procedures, as they do every three years. As a result, my mind has been preoccupied with thoughts of accountability.
In the second reading today, Saint Paul refers to our earthly existence as being “at home in the body” but “away from the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6). One day, he writes, we will “leave the body and go home to the Lord” (5:8) In whatever state we find ourselves, we should “aspire to please him” (5:9) because we will have to account for our actions.
It may be uncomfortable to think about, but at some point there will be an audit of our lives. We will be asked to justify our decisions and choices “before the judgment seat of Christ” (5:10). Hell enough for me simply will be the shame of having to explain to my savior why I chose to ignore my neighbor, hurt my friend, or fail to contribute my time, talent, and treasure to be a force for good in the world.
It its 1992 pastoral letter Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote that “[o]ne day God will require an accounting of the use each person has made of the particular portion of [the temporal and spiritual] goods entrusted to him or her” (20). Indeed, the position of God’s steward “involves trust and accountability” (19). May we all grow in our desire to please the Lord.
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
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