Stewardship is a grateful response to God’s love for us. Think of the many blessings you have in your life. From your first deep breath in the morning, to a warm hug from a child, to the gift of healthy food, or a job to attend too each day. Think about the blessings we may take for granted, the fact that we can sit in a beautiful Cathedral for worship, while Christians around the world do not have such beautiful worship places. Think about the ability to receive the Eucharist without persecution or threats on us, many are not so lucky in this world. The fact is, we are incredibly blessed and we are called to share those blessings with others.
I was recently attending the International Catholic Stewardship Council Conference in Chicago. While I was there, I had many opportunities to speak with colleagues in stewardship offices across the country. Learning about their opportunities and challenges is not only insightful, but therapeutic. We are all trying our best to serve the church, the people of God, into growing and understanding that our relationship with Him is a direct reflection of many of the other relationships in our lives.
At the conference, I discussed with some colleagues what made this “stewardship thing” so hard. We came up with a variety of reasons but ultimately dwindled down the #1 reason is love. In order to love, one must be honest, humble, trustful, and vulnerable…everything that Jesus is so freely with us. Ultimately, stewardship is an act of love and trust. I trust that if I make time with the Lord a priority for Sunday and throughout the week, that the items that need to take priority will, and those that should not won’t. I trust if I make an effort to serve or use my talents for the church, that I will notice a difference in myself and the community around me in which I serve- all for the better. I trust if I am willing to part with the $10 toward meaningless purchases during the week and give that $10 instead to the mission of the church, that I could turn something meaningless into meaningful.
We all are asked to love by sharing the abundant gifts we have been given. This isn’t about the hardships of giving, or the sacrifice, rather the joy we receive from being generous:
for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Katie Price is the Coordinator for Stewardship at the Cathedral and the Director of the Center for Discipleship and Stewardship for the Diocese of Springfield, IL.