AM I A GOOD STEWARD?
The concept of stewardship most familiar to many of us is often described as the selfless sharing of one’s time, talent and treasure (the Three T’s). Our time, talent and treasure are gifts from God that are not meant to be kept to ourselves, but rather, are to be shared in the same manner they are gifted to us, with generosity and grace. According to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, we do not own these gifts from God, we simply administer them for the benefit of others.
Being a good steward of God’s gifts is really a “way-of-life” that is a life-long journey. The daily struggle for most of us in this life-long journey is how to be ever mindful of living the good steward’s way of life. The point at which we consciously accept and recognize that God is the source of all gifts is when we may become a disciple of the faith where stewardship applies to every aspect of life, both secular and spiritual.
Being a Christian steward and disciple also means that we return these gifts we gratefully receive “with increase” to the Lord. When we give of our time, talent and treasure “with increase” we are really practicing “sacrificial giving,” another component of the stewardship concept.
“They gave from their surplus wealth, but she gave from her want, all that she had to live on.”
What does it mean to give sacrificially? Sometimes the best way to describe this act is with a real example from our diocese. The parishioner from St. Isidore the Farmer parish in Orange Cove comes to mind.
By all measures, it is clear that this parishioner pledged to the Our Faith, Our Family, Our Future Capital Campaign way beyond what her income could comfortably accommodate. Yet, in her determination to give in a sacrificial manner, she saved a few dollars at a time over several years until she had saved enough to pay the balance of her pledge. She then had her parish pastor personally deliver to the Development Office a substantial number of one hundred dollar bills to insure that her pledge was fulfilled.
It is obvious that this parishioner is living the good steward’s way of life as demonstrated by her willingness to share her realized gifts from God “with increase.” Her sacrificial giving is an inspiration and example for all to emulate. By living the good steward’s way of life she is really being a devoted messenger of our Lord, called to be a disciple of the faith!
Did you know?
The stewardship concept is the inspiration for the design of the Development Office logo shown to the left. The Development Office logo takes the venerable cross of our salvation as its centerpiece. Around the top of the cross is the very foundation of our faith, the Holy Trinity of three Gods in one Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity is balanced against what we call the Triad of Stewardship, the long-recognized “Three T’s” of Time, Talent, and Treasure. There seems to be a rightful balance, both literally and symbolically, between the three parts of the Trinity of Faith and the three parts of the Triad of Stewardship. It is
because of our foundation in faith that we desire to give of our time, talent and treasure to both our parish and the greater diocesan church.