He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror; He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like.
Stewardship must never become reduced to simply ministry fairs, commitment cards, and stewardship directories. These are tools by which we learn how to practice our stewardship, but they are not stewardship in of themselves. All actions of giving or sharing should flow from the mature heart of person, mindful of the reasons why these actions are important at all. If we lose sight of the motivations for our actions, we risk becoming a bell without a ring or a piano with no tones. The answer should always be on the tip of our tongues and the forefront of our minds to the question: WHY?
Too often we forget that the activities of parish stewardship exist only to lead us into a way of living. Every Sunday is Commitment Sunday. Everyday there is a call upon us to respond. And without the answer to “why,” we become the sum of things we do, rather than the love and grace we hold in our hearts.
So why do we share our time, talent, and treasure? What does it matter? We can give the simplistic answer, “Because God asks us to.” But since we are called to be mature in our discipleship, then the question that demands an answer is, “Why does he ask these things of us?” And there lies the crux of the matter. We are called to do these things, so that we may bear witness to the reality of the transforming power of Jesus Christ, so that others may come to follow him as well.
It is great to have more money in the collection, and more hands to share the load. But at the end of the day, it is about more than making our parish lives better. It is about leading people to heaven. If we can understand that, then everyday becomes an important day for stewardship, and Everyday Stewards can help God transform all those around them.
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