What is Stewardship
Stewardship is the intentional, grateful and loving response of a Christian disciple – a way of life that recognizes, receives and shares God’s gifts and charisms for the good of all, making Jesus Christ known and loved.
Responding as Disciples
Stewardship is a spirituality that builds a way of life, living what Jesus teaches us. It is how a disciple responds when invited by Jesus to enter into His Divine Life and follow him. When we say yes to Jesus – say yes to following Him as His disciple, we are committing to a life of stewardship. As baptized Catholics, each of us can grow closer in our relationship with Jesus by consciously and prayerfully considering our actions like disciples. God gives us prayer, service and tithing to bring us closer to the living Jesus - to enter into deeper communion with Him by extending His mercy to others. By extending His love, we become more and more the person God created us to be and, at the same time, live for His glory.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I ask that you join me as disciples by recognizing how God’s grace is working in you and for you. As we practice Christian Stewardship we realize that God has been marvelously generous to us. Our stewardship, therefore, comes from hearts of gratitude expressed in our Prayer, Service and Tithe.
Gratitude and Prayer. Freely expressing gratitude to God opens the heart. Pondering what God has done lifts our hearts up to express thanks. Our trust in God’s providence deepens as we gratefully reflect on our lives seeing that indeed, “The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack” (Psalm 23:1). And best of all, as we begin our prayer with grateful hearts, we enrich our personal relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Gratitude and Service. While not wanting to boast, I am certain on the day I was born my parents gazed upon my smug mug with hearts overflowing with gratitude for a second child “given to them.” Their gratitude would be expressed very tangibly in service, most of which was rather mundane and routine; for even when we Finnegan siblings failed (often) to express gratitude, our parents still cooked, worked, washed clothes, drove everywhere. They, like disciples, served.
Gratitude and Tithing. We express gratitude for all God’s blessings by sharing a portion of our income with the Parish. I am so grateful that I get to tithe, give the biblical norm of 10% to the parish. At times I can even give more to other great causes. Tithing expresses my dependence upon God – that I trust Him to provide for me. Tithing from a grateful heart also gives rise to a cheerful or joyful countenance.
It is my prayer and hope that, together, we thank God for all he has given to us. I am grateful for every breath I take, to food I share with family and friends, to my faith enlivening my life. I am grateful that I can serve you with the talents I have received. With gratitude I share my tithe from my income – trusting that it will be used to manifest Jesus Christ through the liturgies, as well as varied ministries to children, the poor, the homebound; ministries of education, and catechesis; ministries of healing and reconciliation … and so many others.
Gratitude – our hearts expressing thanks!
Fr. Kevin Finnegan