Stewardship rightly acknowledges that every good thing comes from the hand of God. Yet, the practice of stewardship goes beyond material possessions. It also includes our time, skills and abilities, and even faith itself.
Our relationships with other people, for instance, are gifts given to us with the responsibility to treat them as such. Family bonds, friendships, and especially the vocation to marriage all should be the subject of our stewardship efforts. Those who invest in their relationships by nurturing and caring for them as the precious gifts they are will reap the fruits of healthy and fulfilling interactions with others.
Every relationship requires sacrifice. Whether it’s an investment in time, denying ourselves the comfort and convenience of furthering our own agendas in order to fulfill the needs of others, or applying our special skills and talents to assist them along the path of life, the stewardship of relationships demands a total gift of self. It is a donation of oneself that does not count the cost or hold anything back. In other words, the duty to care for the relationships God has entrusted us with requires nothing less than self-emptying love.
Parents who set aside their busy schedules to play with their children, even for a few minutes, steward those relationships toward a happy future. A sibling who forgives and forgets after decades of silence renews the promise that stewardship holds for healing within the family. An adult child who cares for an incapacitated parent proves loyal to the stewardship bond of love established long ago. A spouse who stands vigil by her husband’s death bed every day, comforting him, holding his hand, and stroking his forehead, performs the final act of love in a life of relational stewardship.
For whom will you care today? Of what relationship will you serve as God’s faithful steward?
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
Saint Brendan Church in San Francisco. Check out our exciting featured news articles.