"...We have to realize that everything is a gift. Your being, your life, your body, your powers of mind and will and imagination, your accomplishments - all of it is a gift from a gracious God. When we realize this, we know that nothing is owed us; we have no great status to defend. Then we can live in gratitude." - Bishop Robert Barron
Stewardship is a way of life that concentrates on living a life of gratitude to God, as one contemplates and discerns how God has blessed each and everyone of us in abundance. When one realizes how God has indeed blessed us spiritually and physically, it becomes a natural response to express our appreciation for such blessings. This is accomplished by offering a portion of our time and energy, our skills and talents, and our monetary resources to God and His glorification. These are called our "First fruits" if you will. Throughout the sacred scriptures we see this practice of people offering first fruits in sacrifice to God. As one thinks about this practice as a way of life, it should be noted that we do this with one another as human beings. Think for a moment about the relationships we have with others; such as spouses, brothers and sisters, employers, neighbors etc. Often in life we commit our time, talents and even our resources to those we journey thr0ugh life with. If we respond in this fashion to others in our daily lives, why wouldn't we respond in a similar way with God? After all, like our loved ones, we also have a personal relationship with our God, who entered into this friendship with us by dying on a cross for the salvation of our souls. How could we not respond and make commitments to God, since in reality our talents, the time we have on earth, and the skills we have and use to make a living, all came from the goodness of our God? I hope and pray that we all make Stewardship a way of life, enabling us to continue growing in faith and discovering the fullness or our discipleship. I have said for many years and continue to say: "For me, stewardship really isn't about Time, Talent and Treasure, but everything about FAITH". If our faith is seeking the fullness of our discipleship, then what we do with our time, talent and treasure will come naturally and be lived out in our day to day routines as God envisioned us to live.
Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.