Today begins a four-part series on the core values of stewardship: identity, trust, gratitude, and love. Over the coming weeks, we’ll focus on each one of them, beginning with our core identity as stewards of God.
God created us and gave us our souls. Therefore, we belong to him. God also blesses us with many innate talents and resources and gives us all that we need. Therefore, we can be sure that the talents and resources God gives us are his, not ours, and are not to be used just for our own happiness; rather, they should be poured out and shared with others, as Jesus tells us in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30).
It also means that, since God gives us everything from his bounty, it really isn’t ours to begin with. God gives to us so that we can share with others. When we realize that everything we have comes from and belongs to God, then we know we truly are God’s stewards here on earth. Everything we have God lends to us, and is given to us for a time because a steward manages and takes care of someone else’s things. Because we won’t end up taking our bounty with us, building monuments like the pyramids of Egypt in an attempt to hoard and take what we have into the afterlife is a futile endeavor.
Saint Paul tells us that we are “ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). In an alternate reading, he also says, “Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10). Once we realize God created us for him, it helps us to develop a detachment from material wants and self-pleasing desires. Everything and all of us belong to him. We are blessed by God, and how we share his bounty is what gives us our fundamental identity as stewards for the Lord.
--Jim Wollak, Parishioner
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