Stewardship of Time
Have you ever noticed that couples who have recently fallen in love spend every possible minute together? Among the simplest ways to show love is to simply be with a person; to spend time with him or her.
Our model for prayer is Jesus, who prayed with his disciples and often went aside to pray by Himself.
Being a steward of time means making time for the things we love most. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.” If we truly love the Lord, we will make time to be with Him in prayer. If we love our neighbor, we will find ways to help our community. If we love our parish, we will seek out opportunities to spend time with other parishioners.
We are primarily focusing on how we spend time in personal prayer and family prayer. Think about what you love most. If God and family are near the top of the list, resolve to make prayer — the lifeblood of Christian life — a part of your own daily life and the life of your family.
Stewardship of Talent
Most Catholics who attend Mass regularly also want to be involved in their parish during the week. Of course, not all of us can spend a whole weekday morning volunteering. But intuitively, we know that the Gospel preached on Sunday needs to be put into action Monday through Saturday.
“Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest; whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for the many.” -Mark 10-43:45
We all have different schedules, different abilities, different interests – but we all share a common obligation to be active members of the Body of Christ. A good steward is one who takes this obligation seriously and finds ways to put his or her talent to work.
In the following pages you’ll discover dozens of ministries – from religious education to community outreach programs. You don’t need to be an artist or musician to have “talent.” You don’t even need a special hobby or skill. All you need is the conviction that you do, in fact, have a role to play, and the willingness to seek it out.
Stewardship of Treasure
At St. Mary, we are encouraging each other to be better stewards of our money, setting aside a generous offering to the parish each week. This is an important part of our Stewardship Renewal.
Talking about money in a church setting is distasteful to some people – but it shouldn’t be. Jesus himself spoke about money quite frequently, for the very simple reason that money plays a very large role in our lives. Precisely because of this, it needs to be aligned with our most deeply held beliefs.
After all, Jesus asks us to give Him our hearts; why should it be harder to give Him our dollars? “Where your treasure is, there also lies your heart.”
Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. - Proverbs 3:9-10
Why should we determine the amount of our gift based on a percentage of income? First, because the tithe (10%) is a scriptural benchmark which the Church has honored for centuries (see Malachi 3:10). Secondly, we give a percentage of income because it is a common-sense standard by which everyone can equitably support the parish, each according to his or her ability.
If the goal above seems difficult to attain, consider increasing your gift incrementally until you reach your goal. It may take some time, but eventually you can reach an amount that adequately reflects God’s generosity to you.
As you move toward your goal, the most important thing is to choose a regular amount to give each week or month, and be faithful to it. Families who have reached the tithe will tell you that it brings peace and blessing, because they know they have made God their top priority.