Bulletin Article – September 17, 2023

During the month of September, we are initiating our Grateful & Generous Stewardship campaign, and will be featuring an article each week from a different parishioner as they reflect on what stewardship means to them and how it connects them more deeply to their faith.

Stewardship Reflection

by Greg Rohde

Stewardship has three elements: time, talent and treasure. Building on that, there are two ways to consider them.

We can have the mindset of an OWNER:
We see our gifts as our own. We desire to possess them and we believe they exist to serve and benefit ourselves.

We can have the mindset of a STEWARD:
We can see them as gifts we’ve received. We are entrusted with them and we believe they exist to serve and benefit others. 

In today’s second reading St. Paul is incredibly clear:
“None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself….whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”

“We are the Lord’s. We belong to The Lord.
We are not owners of our lives, but stewards. My life isn’t my own to be possessed, but a gift to be developed and shared for the benefit of others.
As a steward, I have Gratitude for the gifts I have freely received,
As a steward, I have Generosity when I share my gifts for others.
Gratitude and Generosity are at the heart of the Christian lifestyle because “none of us live for oneself.”

To become a steward, we need to claim our Charisms. “Charism” is a biblical term rooted in the Greek word for “gift”. Charisms are special abilities given to all Christians by the Holy Spirit to give us power to be a channel of God’s goodness for the world. A charism is more than a natural talent. While our inborn talents come from our parents, our charisms come via the Holy Spirit. Our charisms have an efficacy that surpasses our natural abilities.

How can we become aware of our gifts? For most of us, think of something you do easily, effectively and joyfully. Sometimes it might be so easy for you that you assume it’s easy for everyone. It might be something that others ask you to do. 

For me, one of my earliest charisms was lectoring. My first grade teacher recognized my gift and assigned me as a lector when I was six years old. I still remember the story of how Naaman was cured of leprosy. My grade school had daily Mass and the students were gift bearers, servers, and lectors. By 7th grade I became the default “last minute” lector when someone was sick, nervous, etc. At least once a month I lectored on short notice. Because Sr. Anna Marie saw something in me and encouraged me to develop that gift. I’ve been a lector for 54 years. By now, it’s  rare for me to be assigned a Sunday Reading I have not proclaimed at least twice.

I don’t say this to brag, but to show that we each need to claim our charisms. Charisms are not just “churchy” skills. If you love knocking out a great database, there’s a need for that. If you’re handy with tools and you love repairing things, there’s a need for that. If you love doing Intercessory prayer at home alone, there’s a need for that. Because you have been baptized, you have a charism. 

Our special commitment weekend is in two weeks. I would encourage you to define your charisms, then offer them to the community with a heart filled with gratitude and generosity. “Whether we live or die, we are The Lord’s.”

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