Jesus told us “whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” Every day we are presented opportunities to help someone. Every day we have the opportunity to see the face of Jesus in others and be the face of Jesus to others. Planting the seed of discipleship starts within ourselves, but requires us to also plant it in others.
I had someone ask why we were sharing daily Stewardship posts on Facebook during Lent? I wasn’t really sure where this question was going or the intent behind it…did they like the posts or not like the posts? Either way, I answered that the primary reason we are promoting stewardship thoughts during Lent is to recognize that stewardship is a conversion process, a spiritual practice, a call to act as disciples, which is Lent, all in. Stewardship is a great spiritual practice to take on during Lent. Each post has shared a quick thought or Scripture that relates back to time, talent, or treasure.
There is another reason why we are sharing the posts. Many Catholics don’t understand stewardship, as it relates to their faith. We have a tendency in the Catholic church to define stewardship as fundraising. It is not fundraising at all. In fact, I have a tagline, “If you want to raise your bottom line do a fundraiser, if you want to raise disciples, do stewardship.”
To be fair, the majority of us did not grow up with the word. Despite it becoming popular during the last 20 years, many parishes focused on the treasure component compared to time and talent. Stewardship extends to each of us and opportunity to get involved.
Anyone can be a steward. My four-year-old is a steward, from attending Mass, praying regularly, sharing her talents (which as a four-year*-old, we focus on being nice to others), and each week she puts something in the basket from her piggy bank. It doesn’t matter your age, your familiarity with stewardship, or where you are on the faith journey, we can all respond with our time, talent, and treasure.
Nothing we have will ever repay what God has given to us. At the end of the road, we too will leave all our possessions behind. What will seem to be most important is the relationship we nurtured with Jesus. The relationship which sustains us, nourishes us during the challenges and obstacles, celebrates with us, keeps us on a pathway that leads toward His Kingdom. All this leads to a stewardship way of life, a response to Jesus’ call to us. A bold and courageous “Yes!”
Katie Price is the Parish Stewardship Coordinator for Cathedral. She has worked in Stewardship ministry for 10 years, from the Parish level to the Archdiocese of Chicago. She can be reached at [email protected].