The Responsorial Psalm gives motivation through hope: “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 1).
In Romans 6: 19-23 Paul is talking about profit and loss. What do we get out of sinning? What do we get out of serving the Lord? If we are going to work for Christ as his stewards, what wage can we expect?
Stewardship, if wholehearted, can appear daunting. It is the total abandonment of all we have and are into the hands of God. St. Ignatius has put it into the form of a prayer:
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will — all that I have and possess. You have given everything to me; to you, O Lord, I return it. All is yours; dispose of it totally according to your will. Give me your love and your grace; this is enough for me.
Let’s examine that “enough.” Is God’s “love and grace” a sufficient return on the investment of our whole selves in doing God’s will?
“Grace” is the “favor of sharing in God’s own life.” By the gift of faith we share in God’s act of knowing; is that a fair trade for our understanding? By memory we make things present, give them existence, in our consciousness. In this we are like the Father, who said, “Let it be” and gave everything existence. If by grace we can share in God’s vision of all he made, is that a fair trade? Our wills make us free to choose what will enhance our life. Jesus came that we might “have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Do we lose by letting him rule all our choices? All that we “have and possess” was created by God to help us come into the fullness of life. Do we diminish our lives by returning everything to God and managing it for him according to his desires? Are we not right when we say, “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord”?
In Luke 12: 49-53, Jesus warns that if we work with him will suffer conflict: “Do you think I have come to establish peace on earth?” Yes, he did, but he will be opposed, and the first result will be division: “father against son, mother against daughter.” Should this scare us?
For those “with ears to hear” conflict is the counterweight of value. Jesus said he came “to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” He looked forward to his passion with passionate desire for victory. With the same desire we “forsake for the sake of” the Kingdom all we have.1 Stewards live by the words, “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.”
1 Luke 18:29; 1Corinthians 9:23; Colossians 1:24; 2Timothy 2:10; Hebrews 12:2.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Live for the end time with passionate hope.