Jesus encourages us to build up our treasure in heaven. The world encourages us to build up our treasure in real estate, investments, and material goods. How much time are you investing in building up a worldly treasure? How much time are you investing in building up a heavenly treasure? To invest more in the things of heaven, you must live Stewardship and let go of some of the things of this world.
The Gospel message is contrary to modern culture that continually tries to convince us that our joy comes from the material things we possess. That the more we acquire, the happier we will be. Jesus shows us that our true joy comes from Stewardship, using our “invisible” gifts like love, mercy and forgiveness. True joy comes from “emptying” ourselves, giving of ourselves rather than always taking. We are called not to hoard but to share. True joy comes from living a grateful and generous lifestyle; become more “God-centered” and less “self-centered.”
Jesus assures us that if we ask, God will take care of what we need. The problem is that our culture often confuses what we really need with what we simply want. The truth is that many of us need very little. However, we usually want so much more! Stewardship is simply being grateful for all that we are and all that we have been given, and generously sharing all of our God-given gifts with others. Generosity is a gift that opens doors to new relationships with others and with God.
We are all called to evangelize - to convert individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel. Our faith is more attractive to others by our actions than by our words alone. We may not be called to evangelize like St. Paul, but we should look for opportunities to share our faith through our actions and words, especially with those closest to us, like our family, friends and neighbors. Pray for the courage to live in Stewardship, joyfully expressing your faith the next time the opportunity arises.
This was Jesus’ command at the end of the Good Samaritan story. Did you know that the Samaritans and Jews despised each other? The moral of the story is to live Stewardship by loving our neighbor. That means loving someone you may not know, or someone that looks different than you, or someone that has different beliefs than you, or someone that you don’t like. All without expecting anything in return.
As Catholics, we are all called to serve. Each of us has been given “charisms” otherwise known as gifts from the Holy Spirit to help build God’s Church. Our charisms can only be used for good. We know that we are using them in the right ministry when we are filled with joy and we want to share stories about our charitable works. Discern how God is calling you to Stewardship using your charisms. Say “yes” to what God is calling you to do and then do it! Share your joy and invite others to do the same.