Stewardship: Responding to the call of discipleship

| Mike Halloran for The Catholic Spirit | September 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

This is the last article in a three-part series about stewardship.

In the last two editions of The Catholic Spirit, we shared the “why” of stewardship as well as stories of generous stewards from across our archdiocese. I would like to conclude this series with more excerpts from “Stewardship: a Disciple’s Response” — the U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter on stewardship.

From the letter

As members of the church, we are called to be disciples, followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. This has astonishing implications as Jesus does not call us as nameless people in a faceless crowd — rather he calls each one of us individually by name.

God has provided each of us with unique gifts — intending for each of us to play a distinctive role in carrying out his divine plan. Mature stewards understand what unique gifts God has given them; they understand their strengths and passions — what they love to do —what gives them joy. However, acknowledging our gifts and blessings is only one-half of the equation. Just as important is putting these gifts of ours into action in service to the Lord.

Therefore, all members of the church have their own role to play in carrying out Christ’s mission of proclaiming and teaching, serving and sanctifying:

  • Parents: by nurturing their children in the light of the faith in the home and parish (daily prayer and attending weekly Mass as a family; enrolling them in faith formation or Catholic school)
  • Parishioners: by working in concrete ways to make their parishes true communities of faith and vibrant sources of service to the larger community (serving our brothers and sisters in need in our local communities and foreign missions)
  • All Catholics: by giving generous support — time in prayer, money and personal service to their parish (catechist, greeter, St. Vincent DePaul volunteer), diocesan programs (Catholic Services Appeal) and the universal church.

The challenge, then, is to understand our role — our vocation — as disciples of our Lord, and to respond generously to Jesus’ call by putting our gifts to work in building up his kingdom on earth. God gives us this divine-human workshop, this world and church of ours. The Spirit shows us the way — stewardship is part of the journey.

How will you respond?

During the month of October, most parishes in the archdiocese conduct a “stewardship renewal/commitment” effort, encouraging their parishioners to reflect on how God has uniquely blessed them and inviting them to give back to God and his church a portion of these gifts to build up his kingdom.

Please use this time to consider how you will respond to God’s call to discipleship in your parish.

“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).

Mike Halloran is director of the archdiocesan Office of Development and Stewardship.

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Category: The Lesson Plan