Our four-part series on the core values of stewardship – identity, trust, gratitude, and love – continues this Easter week with love.
Hallelujah! Today we rejoice, for our Lord is risen, and all of us with him. Easter brings us joy, happiness, brightness, and springtime. But what does our celebration have to do with stewardship?
Jesus gave all his time, talent, and treasure to others through his ministry, including his years spent with the apostles, and the spiritual and material gifts he gave to those who were suffering or in need. As Saint Peter says, Jesus “went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
Love is essential. It compels us to give. We are a giving people. We give gifts on all kinds of special occasions, and sometimes out of a sense of obligation, or even hoping for something in return. We also give simply out of love and the joy of giving. When we do, this is the best, highest, and most beautiful way we imitate God, who gave us his son Jesus, the greatest gift of all.
Love is also charity, which Saint Paul tells us is the greatest of gifts from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 13:13). We need to give, and give of ourselves. We don’t hold back when we give, and we give our best to God and others. It is a sign of our love to give the best of ourselves.
That is what Jesus did, throughout his ministry, all the way to his passion and death on the cross. He surrendered his life for our salvation, all of us, down through time. God loves and blesses us abundantly. If we accept Jesus’ sacrificial gift, we can take our gifts and turn them outward to others. That is why we celebrate God’s great gift, and Easter is the ultimate example of stewardship.
--Jim Wollak, Parishioner
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