This weekend’s Gospel couldn’t provide us with a greater reflection on stewardship. Not just stewardship basics, but the call to be radical, intentional disciples who participate as stewards in our own lives, and in the life of our parish and beyond. The Gospel message today doesn’t let us forget the ‘tough love’ Jesus has for each of us:
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Notice the phrase, “loved him” before Jesus gives the rich man His response. He is using ‘tough love’ because He knows his response is going to leave the rich man frustrated. Jesus knows how hard this is for each of us. He doesn’t ask this of us lightly; He wants us to remove the dist ract ions, temptations, or other items in our lives that distance us from a deeper relationship with Him. As noted in previous stewardship articles, we know that at the heart of stewardship is our relationship with Jesus. It was not enough for Jesus to ask the rich man to give up all his earthly possessions, but more importantly to come back and follow Him. We can not ignore the importance of a relationship with Jesus.
But what is he specifically asking us in today’s Gospel? Are we experiencing some tough love from Jesus in our own lives? Are we listening to His response or trying to make one up on our own? Simply put, Jesus is asking for us to be radical. To give up everything and follow Him. To pray more, serve more, and give more. To not be absorbed by percentages or service hours, but to pour out both into His Mission here on earth freely and abundantly. This is a radical call to stewardship for each of us. A stewardship way of life is often uncomfortable, unusual, and for some of us unaffordable. How could we give more? How could we budget differently? How could we take seriously the relationship we have with Jesus more than we are now? Can I serve more people or give more time? Each of us over the next few weeks should be discerning these questions, as they help us discern our call to stewardship. It is a radical call, but so is the call to be in deep relationship with Him. It is a call that when answered, provides great blessings in each of our lives, despite any sacrifices we have made.
We want to provide a healthy framework for each of us to discern our call to stewardship. Here are a few questions and answers that may be on your mind:
Why is Cathedral doing a Season of Stewardship?
Each year, parishes across the country spend time reflecting and committing to a stewardship way of life. This season or process is a best practice for parishes making an effort to take seriously their commitment to grow as intentional disciples and utilize their time, talent, and treasure to be good stewards.
Should I participate?
Yes! Everyone is invited to participate, regardless of your parishioner status. We are all called to be good stewards!
What will you do with the information?
Parish staff members will help cultivate an individual’s stewardship interest(s), nurture current stewards in the pews, and provide connections between par ishioner s and ministries or resources.
Can’t I just think about it and do it on my own without filling out the form?
Filling out the form is a visible act of your commitment to being a good steward. It is through this good intention that you and your community will help you along the way to discipleship. It is also common that when we take seriously the discernment process and write down our intentions on paper, we tend to hold ourselves more accountable.
We hope that you will participate with us over the next few weeks and consider how we can be more radical in prayer, service, and giving, just as Jesus has asked us.
Katie Price is the Coordinator for Stewardship at the Cathedral. She can be contacted by calling the Parish Offices or emailing her directly at [email protected].