Stewardship 101 God Does Not Want Your Money
Let us begin class. When I said “Yes” and accepted the position as Associate Stewardship Director with the diocese, immediately many well intentioned folks offered congratulations and followed with “I guess you will be asking me for money heh heh!” While thankful for the kudos and pats on the back, the idea I would be asking for money from you in the diocese left me with a rather sour taste in my mouth. The scope of this position is much greater than that. So right off the bat it is appropriate to clear up what stewardship is and is not.
For too long the term “Stewardship” has been associated with fundraising or capital campaigns which are needed exercises. However, when your Priest references stewardship in a homily and you reach for your wallet, it is a clear sign you have a bad definition of the term. God does not want your money, God does not need your money; it is all His anyway. It’s all His. But so is everything else, your life, your children, your time on earth, your home, your car, your jet ski, your money, your job, every breath you take…it’s all His. He gave it to all of you to manage for Him. He gave it to you. Let that sink in a moment. Now the question might be, “Eric if he gave it to me why would he want any of it back?” You bring Him honor by giving a portion of it back. A portion of your time, talent and treasure as a way of saying “thank you dear Jesus for all that I have.” “Thank you for giving us beautiful children, thank you for the ability to earn a living, thank your giving me the ability sing, to work the land, to make people feel welcome, to build cars, to teach”, to do any number of things that only God can give you. God gave us the ultimate gift. Take a look at the crucifix you see every time you go to mass. The ultimate sacrifice was paid right there. And we celebrate and give thanks every time we come to the table. God is the ultimate giver. Every time we give sacrificially of our time, talent and treasure we become more like God. More Christ like. More Holy. Ever time….. So does God want your stuff? No… He wants you. Only you. But you and your families bring Him honor and devotion when you give of yourself. When you give sacrificially of yourself and begin to live a Stewardship way of life. So now your challenge becomes to ask Jesus “Ok I have been in charge for a long time, how would You like me to run things?” “Where do I fall in Your plan?” This is the hard part folks, we like to be in control. What I am asking you to do requires a conversion at the very center of your relationship with Christ. It requires you to hand over your life and trust God in every way. I struggle with that myself. But you can do it. You can do it! You have the most powerful source inspiration on earth right there around you. 1 Cor 12-26 says “if one part suffers, all parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all parts share in it’s joy”. We are all in this together and together we can become more Christ like, we can live out our vocations, we can learn to give of ourselves in a whole new way. As I mentioned in a previous article, do not make it too hard. Start small, but start. Start with prayer, start by visiting the homebound, start by praying with your children, start by going from $10 to 1% or 2% a week. Start by simply inviting someone to mass. But start. Ask Him. Ask Jesus how he wants you to act then act. We are called to holiness, and by living a Stewardship life we can become holy.
Next time Stewardship 202