Stewardship Is The Management Of Mystery
Thirty-Second Week of Year II Tuesday November 8, 2016
The Responsorial Psalm reminds us, “The salvation of the just comes from the Lord” (Psalm 37).
Titus 2: 1-14 shows us the stewardship common to us all. Paul tells Titus to exhort every person in the Church to live in a way that is “consistent with sound doctrine” — with specialized instructions for different groups. Each has different challenges and different graces with which to meet them. But all have a common responsibility: to serve as faithful stewards of Christ.
Stewardship always implies waiting: being prepared to give an “account of our stewardship” (Luke 16:2). When our lifestyle makes it obvious that we are looking forward to sChrist’s coming, not just as “saved” people anticipating heaven, but as responsible people ready to account for the use we have made of the gifts entrusted to us, we manifest wisdom, witness and stewardship. We recall this during the Rite of Communion at every Mass:
The grace of God has appeared, offering salvation to all. It trains us to… live temperately, justly and devoutly in this age as we await our blessed hope, the appearing of… our Savior, Christ Jesus.
In Luke 17: 7-10 Jesus explains that to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1Peter 4:10) we have to appreciate just how manifold, and how magnificent, that grace is. If our whole concern is only to do “all [we] have been commanded to do,” then we are “useless servants.” We have done our “duty” and nothing more. This is the nearsighted stewardship of those who know nothing to manage except laws, and nothing to be responsible for except observing laws and policing others’ observance of them.
As Peter explains it, to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” we need to “serve one another,” not just according to human social obligations, but “with whatever gift each of you has received.” We have to manage, and invest wisely (with “end time” focus), not only our natural gifts and talents, but also the supernatural gifts and empowerment that come through the “manifold grace of God.” The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
The truth is, Jesus does not call us servants any longer, “because the servant does not know what the master is doing.” But, he says, “I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.” Stewardship is to preserve this precious knowledge and live according to it.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Look ahead to the coming of the Lord.