Over the next few weeks, you will be receiving some information from Bishop Paprocki and myself regarding a diocesan initiative known as the Season of Stewardship. The immediate reaction many have when we hear the word “stewardship” is that it is a nuanced way of asking for your money. And while stewardship does include a financial element, to limit it to that is a failure on our part to grasp the beauty of this important concept which is so important to us as people of faith.
If you recall our Fourth Diocesan Synod, we placed a lot of emphasis on our call to discipleship. In my mind, that is the key takeaway from the whole Synod, that we are called to embrace a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, out of which will flow everything else that is talked about in the Synod. An intentional disciple is one who recognizes first that he or she is loved as a child of God. An awareness of being known and loved personally by Our Lord can make a profound impact on our lives. I love the following quote from Father Pedro Arrupe, SJ on this idea:
Nothing is more practical than finding God,
than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.
Part of our faith formation topic for this month is: God is the source of all life. As we embark on this Season of Stewardship together, we are invited to hear this theme as it applies to each of us in a particular way, and so we might reword the topic this way: God is the source of my life. Each of us can and should ask ourselves: “Does this statement reflect the reality of my life? Do I recognize that everything I have is from Him and belongs to Him?” When we come to the realization that God is the source and center of our lives, our response is one of gratitude, a gratitude that translates into a response of giving ourselves back to Him with everything – our time, our talent, our treasure – our entire lives.
May the Lord bless each of you with an awareness of God’s personal love for you as His beloved son or daughter, an awareness that will decide everything in your lives.