"Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Last Advent, I was fortunate to attend a three-day lecture on stewardship, delivered by Fr. Rafael Partida of the San Bernardino Diocese. My expectation was a monologue filled with different responsibilities requested of me as a faithful Catholic. I would argue that indeed I was given a list, however it was not what I was expecting. Fr. Rafael Partida presented three items needed to remember and believe in order to build our relationship with Jesus, in turn fulfilling our responsibility as stewards.
Fr. Partida stated "because God only loves you, that is what makes you beautiful." Our personal identity lies squarely in the fact that God loves us. We are stewards of our own being because of that love. There remains complete freedom from anxiety and distress when this is realized. He further said that in our loneliness we find the best time to be with God, in that we literally get alone time with Him. We as servants need always remember that He saved us because He loves us and we can always communicate with Him because He is always there.
Because we are so loved by God, we have a responsibility to gift others that love; almost like a pay it forward campaign. We were reminded that we are a gift to our spouse, and the church, a gift to our family, but also a gift to our enemy. I have a responsibility to try and get my husband to heaven, help him to overcome sin, and also overcome my sinning that puts him in any poor position (and vise versa). It's an awesome responsibility and extraordinary compliment. Reflect for a moment on the fact that you are a gift to the world...
Lastly, the series stated that in order to fulfill our role as stewards we need to be grateful. Grateful that God loves us and has given us the ability to be a gift to our families, and grateful that we can find peace in His companionship. By recognizing the importance of love, our value, and gratitude, we approach all things as stewards or servants of God's will. Fr. Partida showed us it applies to the earth, our relationships, yes, even our tithings...we would never expect our spouse to give us 10% of his attention, but we fret about giving 10% back? We can and are asked to live our lives in full recognition of responsibility to God...meaning 100% to God.
Thank God for the 100% of love to gift the world over.
Prayer for Holiness
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love only what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me so, O Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy. Amen.
Peace of Heart
Almighty and Eternal God,
Give me, I beseech You,
the great gift of inward peace. Command the winds and storms of my unruly passions.
Subdue, by Your grace,
my proneness to love
created things too much.
Give me a love of suffering for Your sake. make me forbearing and kind to others, that I may avoid quarrels and contentions. And teach me constantly to seek after and to acquire that perfect resignation to Your Holy Will, which alone brings interior peace. Amen