Renewal is something that some people easily embrace. Others are reluctant to accept it, and still others completely resist it out of fear, because “renewal” seems to always imply we may need to change something about ourselves. Change is always difficult, even when it comes to our spiritual lives. But deep down, we know it is always for the better. The importance of renewal cannot be emphasized enough. It is essential to our spiritual life and life in general.
A stewardship parish should undergo a renewal of its stewardship efforts each year. The word “renewal” should mean more to each of us than signifying our invitation as parish members to identify the specifics of our stewardship to be the disciple Jesus calls us to be. To renew our commitment to be that disciple is a welcome opportunity to renew the call, and renew the ways we participate in mission of Christ in the world. We should seize that opportunity with a good deal of enthusiasm and hopefulness.
Some still have a hard time acknowledging that each of us is called to a renewal of our spiritual lives. With Lent almost upon us, whether you realize it or not, renewal is what we as Catholics do during the Lenten season. The Scripture readings we will listen to during the 40 days of Lent call us to repentance and renewal of our relationship with Jesus Christ. That renewal is an essential phase of living the stewardship way of life.
The renewing of our lives also renews our faith, and vice versa. In doing so, we find our relationship with Christ stronger than it was before. When we conduct our annual stewardship renewal in our parish, we give people opportunities to discover within themselves ways to use their time, talent and treasure, and to practice discipleship. As we continue to renew our lives, we renew our faith each and every time we renew our commitment to discipleship.
The Church’s upcoming season of Lent calls us to renewal, and Christ invites us to renew our relationship with him. To be renewed is to grow spiritually. The call is a spiritual call intended for everyone. It is and always has been a call that, when received, can make a profound difference in one’s life. “Let it be done unto me, according to your Word.”