Last month, we introduced stewardship as way to personally express gratitude for the gifts God has shared with us by giving back a portion of our time, talent, and treasure. This month, we explore stewardship from a universal perspective as we consider caring for creation.
A holistic approach to stewardship encompasses all aspects of God’s broad-based gifts to mankind. We examine ministering to our world, our humanity, and our faith. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explains in their Pastoral Letter on Stewardship:
“Christian stewards respond in a particular way to the call to be a disciple. Stewardship has the power to shape and mold our understanding of our lives and the way in which we live. Jesus’ disciples and Christian stewards recognize God as the origin of life, giver of freedom, and source of all things. We are grateful for the gifts we have received and are eager to use them to show our love for God and for one another. We look to the life and teaching of Jesus for guidance in living as Christian stewards.”
We take special care of our world, knowing that God intends for us to preserve its natural beauty and life-sustaining resources for future generations. The Book of Genesis teaches us that when God created the human form, He bestowed upon us His divine image and likeness. Incorporated in our resemblance to God is our calling to cooperate with our Creator to cultivate and care for His creation. When we view our work through the lens of collaborating with this divine objective, all of our humble efforts are glorified for the benefit of our common good. In such a way, we distribute our bounty ethically and justly, we safeguard the dignity of the human person and all life, and we discern prudently when to conserve and when to construct.
Our Christian faith provides us with a pathway to redemption and salvation. Through our baptism, we are called as disciples to assist in the priestly work of proclaiming this Good News. “But you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises’ of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
We demonstrate our faith to others in many ways. By displaying hospitality and kindness, we reveal the merciful face of Jesus Christ. Through prayer and sacraments, we grow closer to God and share in His abundant graces. Formation allows us to learn and teach. Service spreads care and love. These Four Pillars of Stewardship provide a foundation for our ongoing commitment to the redemptive and salvific work of Our Lord and Savior.
The path of Jesus Christ is our perfect paradigm to guide us through our journey as stewards. We can reflect the light of God to shine throughout the earth by mirroring his example. This month, please comment on how you put your faith into practice by exercising stewardship as your way of life.