I was given the opportunity to teach a lesson on Stewardship to about 100 teens at a breakout session at ACYC recently. I asked them what they think of when they hear the word stewardship. This is what they told me: “chivalry”, “helping others”, and “airplanes.” I was quite puzzled at their responses.
That is when I realized we have a lot to cover. So, what does it mean to be a good steward? It is difficult to be a good steward, if we don’t know what stewardship means. According to Webster, the definition of stewardship is: “… careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”
Stewardship A Disciples Response, the USCCB’s pastoral letter, explains a Christian steward is “One who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord.” St. Peter’s first letter to the Christians supports this definition: “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1Peter 4:10). There are many teaching and examples of stewardship throughout scripture. The first thing we have to recognize is that everything we have starting with our life is a precious gift from God. He created each of us unique like a puzzle piece with different gifts and talents to share with the world to serve and honor Him.
Stewardship can be summarized in three points: time, talent and treasure. Spending time in prayer listening and growing our relationship with God. Utilizing our talents to serve others and let God’s light shine through us. Sharing a porting of our finances sacrificially according to the gifts entrusted to us by God. It is our responsibility to appreciate these gifts, share them and return them with interest. The Parable of the Talents offers a straightforward example of Jesus’s expectations of us on stewardship. Jesus said to those who were good stewards of their gifts, “Well done, my good and faithful servant…Come, share your master’s joy.” (Matt 25:21) Don’t we all want to hear those words from our heavenly Father? We are each a vital piece to a master puzzle and together we can build up the Kingdom of God.
— Shannon Roh is the Executive Director of the Office of Development and Stewardship for the Archdiocese of Mobile.