We tend to over complicate stewardship. We see it as a large task, a hurdle, a burden. Stewardship seems countercultural and unattainable. However, at the heart of discipleship and stewardship is simply being willing to get on the cross with Jesus. He reminds us that we have a cross to bear, and we will all endure struggles. However, it is often through the struggles and adversity that the most joyful and grace filled moments present themselves.
I had someone ask me the other day if I believed in tithing. “Really, Katie, how do you make it work?” I understand that tithing is a leap for many of us. Considering that we are asking to give 10% of our time, our talents, and our treasures back to Him is a challenge for most Catholics that give 1-2%. So, how do I respond to that question. My first thought was how I would respond to Jesus. He might ask, “good and faithful servant… were you?” How am I to respond? Like this, “Sure did! I gave 10% to you!”… really? Is that all we have? Is that all I have budgeted for Him, for His church? Why am I even budgeting my faith life?
The first pillar of stewardship is prayer. Through prayer we are able to more deeply and fully commit our lives to Jesus. We prioritize the Eucharist in our lives. We open our hearts and minds to follow Jesus’ teachings, not just when and where we are comfortable but when and where we are uncomfortable. Are we comfortable praying before meals at a restaurant? Are we comfortable sharing a prayer with a friend or family member who has fallen away? Are we comfortable saying no to Sunday activities that may take us away from the Mass?
When we join Jesus on the cross it hurts! It is suppose to hurt. This last week I was able to listen to a Norbertine Canon of the Abbey of St. Michael, Fr. Sebastian Walshe, who reminded us that “If you don’t have a cross, you are not following Jesus.” We are meant to be uncomfortable when we sacrifice. We are meant to be uncomfortable when we evangelize. We are meant to be counter cultural, so that we can be witness to the Gospel in our daily lives.
So how do we begin living a stewardship way of life? We begin with prayer, with devoting 5%, 10%, 20% or more of our time to building a relationship with Jesus. As we live out this call to discipleship, we will find that we increase our stewardship in other ways. We will begin to prioritize our treasure and our talents. As you do these good works, be aware of the blessings you receive, despite the cross you bear. The fruits of this relationship with Jesus will be everlasting and grace filled!
Katie Price is the current Coordinator of Stewardship at the Cathedral. She can be reached at [email protected].