This year the archdiocese has chosen the theme for Stewardship Sunday of “Share the Joy”. Do we really think of joy when we think of stewardship? Whether it be in our gift of time, talent or treasure, do we see that as really being joyful? Consider using different words instead. Instead of the gift of time, consider the gift of prayer. Taking some of our limited, precious time to spend with God. If we are thinking of it as all the other things we could be doing or that we need to be doing it may not be so joyful, but if we truly consider it as just spending time with God, I hope we can see the joy in that.
How about instead of the gift of talent we consider the gift of participation. That means being a part of something and involved in an action that is going to serve others. Again we can hopefully see the joy in this of having the opportunity to use our talents to help someone else, but at times we can see this too much as just work. Work as a drudgery, which gets in the way of what we want to be doing. If we see it as work then we are doing it because we feel we have to or simply to gain some other reward such as a salary or recognition. If we are doing it as stewardship, as a ministry, then we see our reward in being able to use our talents to serve others, and that will bring us joy.
And finally, instead of the gift of treasure maybe consider the gift of generosity. When I think of the word of treasure I think of something static, something that is being saved or preserved, not touched out of fear that this valuable thing will be lost. When I hear the word generosity I think of an action, the use of a treasure, of a security that we may be keeping static for ourselves, but that I have decided to use now to answer the need we recognize of another. The purpose of a treasure is to meet a need or a want, putting it to that use for another is truly sharing the joy of what a treasure is meant for.
When we consider prayer, participation, and generosity hopefully we can see how our time, talent, and treasure are being shared with others, with God. And in each of these situations hopefully we have some joy to begin with just recognizing the gifts God has given us, but that joy is increased when we realize the opportunity of sharing that gift with others. Consider some act of stewardship that you have done in the past where you can recognize the joy you had of being aware of your gift, and of being able to share it with another.
Please consider what other ways God may be calling you to stewardship, the joy thatGod wants for you, and the joy you will be able to share with others.