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“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (Peter 4:10)

As we journey the Easter season with the first believers, the Acts of the Apostles gives us an understanding of how the early Church developed.  The clear understanding of the early Church was a sense of stewardship of God’s gifts.  The word “stewardship” refers to the Catholic approach to the gifts that God has bestowed upon us. Stewardship is living out a commitment to be Christ-centered rather than self-centered. Profound gratitude, justice and love become the fundamental motives for giving back to God. Everything that God has given to us is intended to serve the divine plan. Therefore, our life is to be lived in gratitude toward God. In a variety of ways, we as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, share our time, talent and treasure to build up the Church and make our world a better place.

The Church needs you and God has chosen you to go out into all the world. Every Christian is to take an active part in the life of the Church and to share the gifts of salvation. Three convictions in particular underlie our understanding of stewardship:

I.    Mature disciples make a conscious, firm decision, carried out in action, to be followers of Jesus Christ no matter the cost to themselves.

II.   Beginning in conversion, change of mind and heart, this commitment is expressed not in a single action, nor even in      a number of actions over a period of time, but in an entire way of life.  It means committing one’s very self to the Lord.

III.  Stewardship is an expression of discipleship, with the power to change how we understand and live our lives.  


Disciples who practice stewardship recognize God as the origin of life, the giver of freedom, the source of all they have and are and will be.  They are deeply aware of the truth that “The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1).  They know themselves to be recipients and caretakers of God’s many gifts.  They are grateful for what they have received and eager to cultivate their gifts out of love for God and one another.


God’s generosity will never be outdone by our own. 

“The promotion of the practice of stewardship is important for the mission of the Church and for the spiritual well-being of each individual Christian on the journey toward Salvation. Everyone benefits from the sacrificial gift one makes of his time, talent, and treasure.” -Pope Benedict XVI

Stewardship, A Way of Life

Stewardship is based on the fact that all that we have and all that we are comes from God. We commit ourselves to stewardship as a way of thanking God for all His blessings; returning to Him a portion of the time, talent, and treasure he has allotted to us:


I.  TIME:  Each week, we choose what will be done with the 168 hours we have available to us. Good stewardship of time means we will share some of that time with God in prayer, praise and thanksgiving, and some time caring for the needs of others.


II.  TALENT:  Every person has a flair for something. Good stewardship of talent means we identify our talents and use them to glorify God and to help other people.


III.  TREASURE:  Although the amounts vary significantly, we all bring some kind of revenue into our households. Good stewardship of treasure means we intentionally plan to donate a set percentage of our income to the church and other charities. As a final act of stewardship, we should prayerfully consider leaving a portion of our assets to the Church in our wills.

As we continue in the Easter season, each week, we will be challenged to select one of the three possible ways of living out the example of the First Believers in our own journey toward the joy of the Resurrection.  Each week, three possibilities – to be adapted to your own ability, will be presented based on Time, Talent and Treasure through the Acts of the Apostles reading for that week.

The Sixth Sunday of Easter

We come to the final week of the Easter Season where we simply count the weeks.  Next week, we will gather and commemorate the Ascension of our Lord, and then, conclude the following week with Pentecost. Each week, we have been challenged to select one of the three possible ways of living out the example of the First Believers in our own journey toward the joy of the Resurrection.  As we prepare for these great feasts of the Church, let us one more time look at the early Church in the Acts of the Apostles, and connect with them through an act of Time, Talent, or Treasure for the week.


“…Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them.  With one accord,
the crowds paid attention to what was said…There was great joy in that city”.    Acts of the Apostles


If we recall the story of the “Good Samaritan”, there was a long-standing division between Jews and Samarians.  But we now see the conversion and growth that occurs as the Church begins to flourish. What can we do to make sure this great sense of conversion, or in many cases, reconversion, can take place?


TIME: Take time to reflect about someone who has stopped participating in Mass, and with great sensitivity, invite them to come to Church with you sometime over the coming weeks.

TALENT: One of our shared talents is the ability to  talk about God – but also to speak to him.  Spend some time this week praying for others, especially our recently Confirmed students, and those who will receive the Eucharist for the first-time next weekend.

TREASURE: Consider offering a Mass intention for someone who has passed away that you think might not have many people praying for them, not just a family member, but someone who maybe didn’t have many relatives to keep them in remembrance.

“Then they (the Apostle) laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit”.

ded that day”.  Acts of the Apostles

The Fifth Sunday of Easter

“…there widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.  So the twelve called together the community of disciples and said: It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table”.    Acts of the Apostles

From this emerged the formation of the diaconate – men called to serve the Church by primarily serving the needs of “widows and orphans”.  These groups – code for those who cannot provide for themselves, are no longer just the responsibility of deacons, but of all the baptized faithful.  What do we do to serve those in need?

TIME: Plan to offer some time over the coming summer months to volunteer – either at the Soup Kitchen, Catholic Charities, or any other organization that provides help & hope.

TALENT: This about some way you can use a talent   you have to assist others in need – whether that need is physical, spiritual, or emotional.

TREASURE: Offer some financial resource or in-kind gift to an agency or organization that helps provide food or clothing to those in need.

“The Word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly”

Repent and be baptized, every one of your, in the name of Jesus Christ…and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit… Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.  Those who accepted his message were baptized and about three thousand persons were added that day”.  Acts of the Apostles

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

Repent and be baptized, every one of your, in the name of Jesus Christ…and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit… Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.  Those who accepted his message were baptized and about three thousand persons were added that day”.  Acts of the Apostles

What can we do to strengthen our own baptismal call, and by our own lives, of discipleship, challenge others to do the same?  This week is one where we need to give more of our faith witness, rather than our mere physical time, talent, or treasure.

TIME: Do I spend more time in prayer – not just as Mass, or before meals, but in true conversation with God, that will bring a sense of conversion into my life?


TALENT: Have we considered offering our gift in the Spirit as a minister at Mass – as a Reader, Eucharistic Minister,
Usher, or, for our young people, an Altar Server?


TREASURE: Do I make my weekly stewardship one of true prayer and reflection with God, or merely what I have left over from all my other wants and desires?

“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ this Jesus whom
you crucified - and when they heard this they were cut to the heart, asking – What are we to do?”

The Third Sunday of Easter

The Apostles recounted how “Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst”.  Acts of the Apostles


What deeds can we, following the example of the early Church who saw to the needs of all, work in our homes, neighborhood, and community?

TIME:  When heading out to the grocery store or mall, think of someone who doesn’t get out much and ask them to join you on the excursion.


TALENT:   When making dinner for your family or yourself, consider making a little extra and calling a neighbor and offer to share a meal with them.


TREASURE:  With the warmth of Spring upon us, consider buying a gift card for ice cream and drop it off in the mailbox of a family with young children.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence”.

The Second Sunday of Easter

“All who believed were together and had all things in common…every day they devoted themselves to meeting in the temple area and to the breaking of the bread in their homes”.  Acts of the Apostles

TIME: Think of someone who doesn’t get to Church, or who cannot leave their home or nursing facility. Either bring them to Church with you next week or stop at their home after Mass to visit for a while.


TALENT: If your talent lends to the cooking or baking arena, make something to bring to someone’s house and spend a little time with them.  If the talent is more outdoors, offer to help clean up the flower beds or some part of their yard.  Consider whatever your talent may be and offer it to the service of someone’s home.


TREASURE: Consider buying a gift card for the grocery store or an area restaurant (especially one that may deliver) for someone you know may be in need.


“They ate their meals with exaltation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people”.

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