Stewardship

Stewardship Prayer
Oh Father, giver of life and source of our freedom, we are reminded by the Psalmist that yours is "the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it." We know that it is from your hand that we have received all we have and are and will be. Gracious and loving God, we understand that you call us to be the stewards of your abundance, the caretakers of all you have entrusted to us. Help us always to use your gifts wisely and teach us to share them generously. May our faithful stewardship bear witness to the love of Christ in our lives. We pray with grateful hearts, in Jesus name. Amen.
 
The Call to Stewardship:
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Stewardship developed a Pastoral Letter called Stewardship: A Disciples Response. It stressed that the heart of stewardship is a call to discipleship which demands conversion and a change of heart. The goal of stewardship is more then raising needed resources, it is a call to a new way of living as a disciple of Jesus. Stewardship is an individual and corporate responsibility which demands accountability at all levels. It is a life-long process of ongoing formation and education.

What are Stewards?
Stewards are caretakers. Stewards appreciate that they may benefit from the resources available to them, but they also know they must guard those resources and account for their use. A Catholic, Christian Steward is one who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them responsibly, shares them with others, and returns them to the Lord.

Are Stewards Also Disciples?
Through Baptism we are called to be disciples of Christ. Disciples are followers — believers—who emulate Jesus and his perfection. Jesus was a steward and remains our model of stewardship because he uses all the human and spiritual resources available to him from God, even suffering and dying on the cross. Stewards must be disciples, for without our belief, we would not respect God’s ownership over us and our world.

What Do We Own?
As Catholic Christians, we recognize God’s hand in creation and we accept his ownership over all things. He created each of us as unique beings, endowed us with life, and allows us to conduct our lives as we choose. He puts before us a limitless array of opportunities and the capacity to devise what our minds can imagine. God owns everything and loans his entire creation to us.

Where in the Bible Are We Called to Stewardship?
The New Testament offers many calls to stewardship as a way of life. "The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness, the world and those in it," (Romans 14:8). "Everyone will have to give an account of themselves before God," (Romans 14:12). Scripture makes it clear we are not owners of creation and we will be accountable for our use of it.

What do Stewards Do?
First, Stewards recognize that they themselves are among the gifts bestowed by God for their temporary use. The entire inventory of gifts — our life, faith, family, friends, intellect, will, skills, income, and possessions — all this and the earth itself, were given us in trust by Almighty God. Having been given in trust, one day we must account for how we used them. The choice we make — to waste these gifts or use them to glorify God —is the choice to seek eternal life.

How Can I Start Being a Good Steward?
Begin to discern where God is calling you and get involved in your parish community.