The role of ABVM’s stewardship committee
Come to him, a living stone rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Cor 6:19)
The Scriptures above remind us that we are “living stones” and temples of the Holy Spirit. But what does that mean in a personal, everyday way?
What are we part of?
What are we building?
How are we using the “living stones” that we are to build up the Body of Christ that is the Church?
How are we bringing the light and life of the Holy Spirit into the world?
God has blessed each one of us with life and with a unique package of skills and abilities and then trusted us to use them in ways that build up God’s kingdom.
Sometimes we can use our talents directly for the Lord – we use our voices to sing with the ensemble or put our people-skills to work as hospitality ministers. Sometimes we use our best talents in the workplace and give a portion of what we’re paid for what we do as an offering at Mass. In that way our monetary gift becomes a kind of “stored time and talent” that the community can then use to purchase what it needs to pursue its mission.
And what we give to the church, whether directly or indirectly, is only a part of our total stewardship. God has given us all of what we have and are and expects us to be accountable – to be good stewards – of all of it! What we do with and for our families, the work we do at the office or the factory or at home, the way we spend our leisure time – all of those things and more are the “stuff” of stewardship. Stewardship is a way of life that gives thanks to God for all the good gifts we’ve been blessed with – life and time, talents and skills, relationships and attitudes, spiritual and temporal resources – and then uses and shares all those things generously as a way to express our love of God and neighbor.
St. Teresa of Avila said it this way:
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
St. Paul simply says, we are the living stones with which the Kingdom of God is being built. Now. Today.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” How will we demonstrate our gratitude for all the gifts God has given us?
This is the spirit of stewardship we seek to share with all who call this parish their spiritual home. As the parish stewardship committee, we need to model it, to teach it, and to invite the assembly to think prayerfully about all the ways we have been blessed and to invite each one to make a commitment to share those gifts in some way with the parish in the coming year – to ask, “Where and how will you add the “living stone” that you are to the life of this parish?” – and then to be actively and intentionally grateful for their involvement and support.