As Director of Stewardship I am often asked this question. Stewardship is a somewhat disconcerting word, very ‘churchy’ and not really used in regular conversation. At times, people assume that I am only interested in money for the parish and that my goal is to get lots of it so we can spend with abandon. Or that I’d like to see their tax returns so I can determine how much they should give the parish.
Well, none of that is true. I am not interested in your money and what you do with it but in your attitude towards the gifts you have been given. My job is not to get something but to help us all realize that literally everything we are, everything we have and everything that is important to us is a gift. And that gift comes from God, the one who made us and gives us life.
What is most important in our lives? Many of us will say our family, faith, friends, health. But how do we spend our time and money? Is it to take care of the people we love or is it to acquire things for their own sake? Or do we work too much and then try to pay-off others for our lack of attention?
Jesus tells us “seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides” (Luke 12:31) and “where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Luke 12:34). Answer the above questions and then you will learn what kingdom you are seeking. If you are seeking God’s kingdom, then you receive all that you need from our Father. If you are seeking the world, which is materialism, relativism, and individualism, then stewardship is not an option for you. Stewardship is about trusting in God and believing that he will provide what you need when you need it. Not more, not less, and right on time. Stewardship is about serving others, sharing with others, and loving others. How much we each serve, share and love is up to us, but we must always remember the greatest example of serving, sharing and loving comes from when Christ stretched out his arms and died for us.