What does love have to do with stewardship? … We know that we are called to be disciples of Christ and the path to being a disciple is through living a life of stewardship. Jesus tells us exactly how to achieve this in St. John’s gospel when He says, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 14: 34-35)
Stewardship is responding to God’s call to give with a loving heart. St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians reminds us to “…Serve one another through love . . . bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 5:13, 6:2) In our busy lives it can be difficult to find the time to serve those in need. The annual Catholic Charities Appeal is a powerful way to show our love for those in need. The ministries funded by the Catholic Charities Appeal show the love of Christ by serving those in need right here in our communities.
The gospels confirm how passionate Jesus was about love. In fact He declared love the greatest of all commandments. St. Matthew and St. Mark recount Jesus’ response when asked by a scribe what is the greatest commandment: “He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39) & (Mark 12:29-31) The call or command to love is not about a feeling or emotion, it is about the decision to love and obey God.
Note: The USCCB’s pastoral letter titled Stewardship: A Disciples Response defines a Christian steward as “One who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with all, and returns them with increase to the Lord.”
— Shannon Roh is the Executive Director of the Office of Development and Stewardship for the Archdiocese of Mobile.