Stewardship

Stewardship and the Mass

During the months of October and November, oftentimes we hear about stewardship of our time, talents and treasure.  To many, when they hear this, they think “The church is asking for money again!” “Not another homily about money and budgets!”  As I was giving thought to our upcoming commitment Sunday and my own stewardship commitment to the church for another year, I began to contemplate where in the Mass do we consistently hear and speak about this topic of stewardship? Where in the ordinary parts of the Mass do we address care for God’s creation; giving of ourselves to help others and promote the Gospel; giving of our resources to support God’s kingdom and one another?

Each week our readings change, songs change, even the Eucharistic prayer may be different each week, but where is the consistent message of stewardship?  Is there a specific message about stewardship of our time, talents and treasure?  I think there is.  Let take some time again to be more mindful and pay attention to where we are asked by God and through the words of the Mass to give of ourselves and our resources.

Let’s start with what a steward is.  The US Conference of Catholic Bishops describes several aspects of stewardship.  Let’s start this week with Stewards of Creation.

Stewards of Creation

The Bible contains a profound message about the stewardship of material creation: God created the world, but entrusts it to human beings. Caring for and cultivating the world involves the following:

  • Joyful appreciation for the God-given beauty and wonder of nature;
  • Protection and preservation of the environment, which would be the stewardship of ecological concern;
  • Respect for human life—shielding life from threat and assault, doing everything that can be done to enhance this gift and make life flourish; and
  • Development of this world through noble human effort—physical labor, the trades and professions, the arts and sciences. We call such effort “work.”  Work is a fulfilling human vocation.

The Second Vatican Council points out that, through work, we build up not only our world but the Kingdom of God, already present among us. Work is a partnership with God—our share in a divine human collaboration in creation. It occupies a central place in our lives as Christian stewards.

The next time you are at church for Mass for any particular service, make yourself aware of the opportunities God reminds you of being a steward through care for all creation and through our work.  Pay attention to the words of the opening hymn.  Listen carefully to the words of the Collect.  What are you singing about?  What are you praying about?

Processional Hymn: All Creatures of our God and King

All creatures of our God and king
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

Refrain

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

Refrain

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.

Refrain

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.

Refrain

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!

Refrain

And thou most kind and gentle death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.

Refrain

Let all things their creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!

Refrain

 

Collect for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Almighty ever-living God, who in the abundance of your kindness surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you, pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads and to give what prayer does not dare to ask. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Join in the conversation and let me know where you hear of God’s call to be stewards of all the gifts God gives us.

Let us all be mindful at Mass.

 

Advertisements
Standard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s