Stewardship, A Way of Life?
Making stewardship a part of your everyday life is an essential step in a life of faith. Important to the community and parish, it is still more vital to you as an individual; stewardship is at the heart of Christian living. Because of this, we all need to understand the nature of a stewardship commitment. The commitment is grounded in faith and gratitude: gratitude for all that God has given you, for all that you are. God has made us all stewards of his love; you can pass on. His love through your actions and through the way you live your life. With this understanding, a total appreciation of His return to us will come with time and experience.
We are all blessed with infinite gift which we all too often take for granted. By acknowledging this you will find that sharing your gifts is a natural and rewarding way of living, and with them will be shared the compassion and the word of the Lord. Join us here at St. Anthony of Padua by using your Time, Talent and Treasure to serve the community and the parish, your neighbors and you friends and, in doing so, continue to grow spiritually and in spirit.
Stewardship is encouraging us to reconsider the way we think about who we are and what we possess, to distinguish between the needs and desires, to swim agains the tide of materialism and selfish individualism, recognizing that everything we have comes from above. God does not entrust us with gifts of skills, knowledge, money or property to hoard or squander them; they are given to us for the good of all. “Looking out for No. 1” needn’t be an excuse when God is No. 1 in your life.
The wonderful paradox of stewardship is that through giving, you are yourself enriched. Most of us not only keep a tight grip on what is “ours” – time, money, possessions – when we have more than enough, but we also focus on what we lack, judging each other by the baggage we surround ourselves with, when a person’s true wealth lies within them. In reality, the more we cling on to what we know and have, the more we close ourselves to what we might receive. It’s like holding water in your fist; the tighter you grasp, th less you get. When you relax your grip and open your hands the water flows in. The water – the holy spirit, the riches of God’s love – is always present and abundant, you need only find the way to embrace it. To give freely of yourself is to be the vessel of the holy spirit.
God gave himself to us through his son, Jesus, who in turn gave his life for us. As disciples of stewards of God’s love we must all share this blessing with the same selflessness and generosity as did Jesus, trusting that God will provide. As Jesus is God’s self-gift so too are we all gifts to ourselves and each other. If you want to find yourself, give yourself away. If you seek the kingdom, build it. Give and you shall receive.
Putting Stewardship in Action
There exists in our parish community – and in you – a diversity of gifts, which God has provided for advancement of his kingdom. It is up to us – to you – to recognize these gifts and put them to use. Take a big step on your spiritual journey with a small commitment: devote 2-4 hours of your Time each month to putting your Talents to God’s work and with this simple leap of faith make stewardship a way of life.
If Time and Talent are two thirds of the stewardship equation, it stands to reason that volunteer ministry is central to faith life in the Catholic Church. Here at St. Anthony’s, we would like everyone to join our stewardship community by devoting a regular portion of Time to the parish. There are so many diverse ways to get involved and, through your service to God and the community, great fulfillment to be found. You can find a complete list of the services, groups and activities in the Church Ministries and Outreach program. For updates of events check the newsletter and for more information and inspiration talk to other volunteers, ministers and stewards or to the stewardship office. Strengthen your relationship with God by building relationships in the parish; we are all equal partners in the kingdom.