One movement appears to remain with us. It is what I would call the “stewardship movement.” I have seen firsthand how this movement brings new vitality to parishes and strengthens the Catholic faith of so many individuals; something as simple as focusing on “time, talent and treasure” has touched our Catholic people in very basic but profound ways.
Stewardship of time always refers to the amount of time we give back to the Lord spiritually. This means time in prayer, meditation, scripture reading and contemplation. Giving back our time might mean going to daily Mass, reciting the Holy Rosary, and making a Holy Hour in the Church or adoration chapel. It might mean attending a religious education or Bible study class. Giving our time is meant to strengthen us spiritually, morally, and doctrinally. It is meant to sustain the gift of faith that God gives us, as well as the gifts of hope and love.
Stewardship of talent is meant to help us recognize the many gifts God has given us and to utilize them for the building up of the Body of Christ which is the Church. Some of us have the gift to teach, to sing, to visit the sick and to administrate. Some of us can fix toilets, air conditioners and cut the grass. Others know how to plant flowers, pick up trash and clean floors. When we donate our services to the Church, we are sharing our particular talent with our parish community.
Stewardship of treasure is meant to help encourage us to set aside some of our treasure for the Church and other charities. It is equitable. If I make $30,000 a year and give ten percent to the Church and other charities, that would be $3,000. The person who makes $100,000 a year and gives ten percent would be giving $10,000 a year. Both of us would be giving the same percentage, thus making the same sacrifice according to our means. It is suggested, (not mandated) that we give 8 percent to our parish, 1 percent to our bishop and the remainder to charities of our choice. Nothing, however, is preventing us from giving more. The Biblical tithe, or 10 percent, should be seen as a basic minimal.
I have a dream that one day 100 percent of my parish, St. Joseph’s in Macon, Ga., deliberately tried to live the stewardship way of life. I felt like I was in heaven. Please join me in my heavenly dream and let us strive to make this dream a reality, not only here in Middle Georgia but at home in your parish, as well.