Time, Talent and Treasure

December 30, 2017

 

No matter what our position in life or how many demands are put on us, all of us have exactly the same number of hours available in the day. Making good use of that time requires keeping our priorities straight. Since our time is limited, each time we say "yes" to one thing, we are forced to say "no" to something else. We need to make sure that our highest priorities get the "yes."

 

A simple but profound way to be a good steward of God's gift of time is to attend Mass regularly and to establish a good prayer life. Even those in your audience who may feel they don't have the means to contribute in any other way can still pray for the needs of the Church, the world, their community and individual members of the community.

 

We need not excel at something to be talented. Instead of asking "Will you volunteer?" ask "How will you use your gifts to serve others?" A volunteer can say yes or no, but as baptized disciples/followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to use our gifts to serve others and build up the kingdom of God. We are his hands and feet, eyes and ears, mind and heart in the world.

 

Christian stewardship shows us that everything comes from God, including our wealth and the ability to create our wealth. Letting go of some of what is really only on loan to us anyway is very freeing. It allows us to follow the teachings of Jesus more closely. Being a good steward of the money and possessions God entrusts to our care requires that we honestly discern our needs from our wants. God always provides what we need, but seldom everything we want.

 

If we don't make a deliberate plan to return the "first fruits" we receive from God back to him after taking care of our own needs and many of our selfish wants, we will only have what is leftover for God. That is why making an annual plan is important to the charitable giving aspect of our discipleship. Sometimes people ask what a "minimum" gift is. But why should we even consider a minimum obligation to the God who has given us everything? While our God cannot be outdone in generosity, we at least need to share with others out of profound gratitude and love for God. To make your gift sacred, or sacrificial, it should be enough to make a difference in your lifestyle. Don't "give 'til it hurts," give until it feels good!

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