“Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. (1 Corinthians 4:2) Too many times when we think of stewardship, it is a code word for giving more money to the church. True stewardship means living our whole life in a way that acknowledges God as the creator and owner of everything in the universe. Stewardship recognizes everything we have is a gift from God – even our money and possessions. It is a way for us to live in gratitude and to return all our blessings to the Lord with an increase.
This year, Ash Wednesday falls on March 5, marking the beginning of Lent. During this holy season, we prepare ourselves for the death and resurrection of Christ–God’s ultimate act of love and sacrifice to save the world from sin.
Lent is a season designated for introspection and meditation, and is modeled after Jesus’ solitary retreat into the desert. Just as he faced Satan’s challenges in his isolation, we, too, must fight our own demons. It is the human condition that we are all born in sin, but God has given us the tools and abilities we need to transcend these human shackles. In serving as trustworthy stewards to God, we grow closer to him and free ourselves from earthly matters.
One of the most basic–and most important–ways to prove ourselves to be trustworthy stewards is by getting our priorities straight. Scripture tells us: “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24) In preparing for this season of sacrifice, reflect on whom you ultimately serve – are you serving God in all you do or are you a slave to the influences of the world? Do you have a Catholic perspective on finances, spending, saving and giving or are you following secular ways? Have you carefully planned your budget to provide for yourself and your family, or have you spent recklessly? Have you set aside part of your earnings to spread God’s blessings among those who are less fortunate?
There is room for improvement in every steward’s life. Remember that the season of Lent is one of preparation and sacrifice. Consider the Catholic perspective on finances and free yourself from servitude to earthly goods so you can become a trustworthy steward.