Being stewards of God’s gift
In this extract from his homily, Fr Francis Vijayan, CSsR explains the importance of being mindful that everything we have is not ours alone. He also reminds us that we are all stewards of the Lord’s many gifts.
There is a need to recognise two instances in which many of us take God for granted.
The Lord’s grace
The first instance is when we take what He has given us for granted. To name a few, the number of years we are given on this earth, our health, being physically able, and the ability to see and hear. Sure, we may take care of what we have, but being born with them has very little to do with us.
The second instance is when we claim all the credit for certain achievements. We sometimes claim our successes in life are due to our own efforts – the result of our own hard work. We may say we are rich because we are smart or because we have worked very hard. To be born with a good mind or being a hard worker is also God’s grace. Even our children are all gifts from the Lord.
We often forget to remind ourselves that not everything we have is the fruit of our labour alone. It is a combination of our work with many other factors that are beyond our control. Some may feel that somehow things have come together to work in their favour. Others may even go as far as to say the universe conspired to make something happen or that it was a product of positive energy that drew good things towards us.
Recognising His blessings
As Catholics, we simply view all these gifts as God’s providence or God’s blessings. Every gift we have comes from God for He is the creator of all things. God’s gifts can come in many forms – money, health, children, our lives, skills, time, spiritual gifts, etc.
What is God asking of us with all the gifts and talents He blessed us with?
Being responsible stewards
We need to recognise that all the gifts and resources we receive from God belong to him. We are merely stewards of God’s gifts. As stewards, our responsibility includes how wisely we share the gifts entrusted to us with the community, so that, through us, God can bestow His love and blessings on others. It is only by sharing with others that our gifts can grow.
Many of us are guilty of acting as if we own all of God’s gifts we have. The result is the irresponsible use of what we are blessed with. The parable of the tenants reminds us that what we have, are only on lease to us. So often, we become so comfortable with the freedom and power we are given in dealing with our gifts that we think they belong to us alone.
Just think about how we use our wealth, what we do with our bodies, our skills and our time. Think about how we sometimes control what our children should do with their lives. We can even go as far as killing the spirit of love we share with others when we do so.
In another parable – the parable of the talents, we are reminded that just like for the three servants, God will hold us accountable for how we use our gifts and talents to build His Kingdom on earth. Do we act like stewards or owners of our talents?
The second letter of Peter proclaims that grace and peace will be multiplied as we come to know our Lord better. When we do not place our security in the Lord or when we do not acknowledge that the gifts we received from God to steward are not for our self-indulgence, we will start placing our security on fleeting, materialistic things.
The more we place our faith in the Lord for our needs, the more willing we will be to share our talents and gifts with others for God’s glory.