“From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required.” Luke 12:48
It is likely that you have heard the term “stewardship.” In fact, St. Wenceslaus Parish has declared itself a “stewardship parish,” joining virtually every other parish within the Diocese of Bismarck. But, do we know what it means? What is a Steward? One definition states that a steward is a person who manages the affairs of the household or an estate for the owner. In the Christian sense, a steward is the manager of the affairs of God on earth. God has made each of us a steward and given us abilities and talents that are unique. We should use those abilities and talents to serve God. Everything we have is given to us by God: time, health, relationships, talents, property, the environment. A Christian steward serves God out of love and gratitude for these gifts, knowing that it’s not how much we have but what we do with what we have that is important.
Human life is the first and greatest gift of all and carries great responsibility with it. Life itself is a stewardship. As Catholics we know that our lives are sacred trusts. We are the stewards of those lives; God depends on us to use them to accomplish His purpose. When God gives us life, we don’t know how much time we have to use that life. But, whatever time we have is a gift from God, and we must use it wisely. God gives all people potential talents when they are born. Each of us can share in God’s plan in his or her own way. The Bible tells us that if we use our talents wisely, we will be better able to use them and will develop others. But if we don’t, we may lose even those talents we do have. We bring nothing into this world...and we take nothing out of it. Everything that we have while we are here, comes as a gift from God. In appreciation, we choose to share our gifts.
The stewardship of our property is an ongoing process. We give regularly and systematically in proportion to the gifts which we are given — the talents which earn us our possessions. Because we love our God, we gladly dedicate these gifts to God’s service, and give a worthy portion for the care of people in need. Giving money to the church is a symbolic act; the offering of ourselves in service and devotion to God. Giving is a practical matter, too, because the offering makes it possible for the church to pay its bills and carry out its mission in Christ’s name. The Bible says that we should set aside our “first fruits” — that our offering to God should be the first portion we set aside, not what remains.
We hope you will be a joyful steward at St. Wenceslaus, sharing what the Lord has blessed you with. There are many ways to share of your time, talent and treasure; contact the Parish Office to share your gifts!