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How Much is it for God?
Stewardship is a core value of our Parish Family. “We believe that every individual has been gifted by God with unique time, talent, and treasure and the path to spiritual growth is stewarding these gifts in a way that glorifies God and leads to an outpouring of the Fruits of the Spirit.”
Today’s Gospel is one of the most inspiring Gospel texts about stewardship: “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” (Mt 22:21). Engaging in the discussion about how much money I should give to God or to Caesar is one possible way to read this Gospel. However, I would like to place stewardship into a more comprehensive perspective, but also as a very fundamental question.
First, a comprehensive perspective: stewardship is not only giving money or more money to the Church. Stewardship is a way of life based on the Gospel springing from the grateful awareness that everything we have is a gift from God. “We believe that every individual has been gifted by God with unique time, talent and treasure.”
Consequently we can ask ourselves, “How much of my time, talent and treasure should I give back to God? How much is it for God?” However, I would like to “twist” this question into “how much do I want to grow?” This is the real perspective of stewardship in our Vision, Mission, and Values: “the path to spiritual growth is stewarding these gifts in a way that glorifies God and leads to an outpouring of the Fruits of the Spirit.” Now this is a whole new approach.
Second, stewardship entails a fundamental question that is no longer about the quantity but about the quality: placing God first in our lives. “This means making God’s priorities our priorities. When we place our loving Creator at the center of our life, we become more prayerful, more focused on loving and caring for our families and our neighbor in need and less preoccupied with material things. In short, we find the true source of happiness and fulfillment that we all seek and that the Lord alone can provide… This belief will lead us to put our faith in action by finding the time and money to promote God’s priorities because we have made them our priorities as well” (http://www.stmarymagdalen.org/Stewardship/FirstFruits.htm).
Stewardship, therefore, is about placing God first in our lives, taking primacy over everything else. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt 22:37).
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