In his letter to early Christian communities, St. Peter urged people to remain steadfast in their faith and to recognize their individual roles in the charitable construction of the Church.
“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace,” he wrote (1 Peter 4:10).
Today, Catholics are aware of the generosity of God who has blessed each of us with gifts. It’s easy to be generous with our time and gifts when we recognize how much the Lord has blessed us. A vibrant spirit of stewardship is part of the spiritual patrimony of the Church in St. Louis.
The people of the Archdiocese of St. Louis are wise and generous stewards. The many works of the Church here are evidence of that. Our outward gifts of prayer, participation and generosity have provided much fruit over many years, especially in our parishes.
Stewardship is, first and foremost, about God. When we’re good stewards, we recognize that all of our gifts, talents and treasures, are given to us by God and are to be shared with others. Whether it be prayer, volunteer work, assistance in the Church or school, or financial support of the Church and her ministries, we have an obligation and an opportunity to return in thanksgiving that which we have received.
Stewardship focuses on strengthening our relationship with God and with each other. In gratitude for all that we are given, we are generous with our gifts — our first and best. Stewardship is our response as active participants in the life of Jesus.
We start our stewardship with prayer by asking God what He wants of us, how He wants us to use our gifts for generous participation. As we discover this call, we should reach out to our pastor to ask how we might serve the parish and others.
Parishes across the archdiocese observe Stewardship Awareness Sunday the weekend of Sept. 26-27. This is a perfect time to assess our varied talents and gifts and to make plans to use them to serve one another.