April 21, 2013 –– Fourth Sunday of Easter
Stewardship is a joyful response in gratitude for the many gifts granted by the Lord. Doesn’t that sound a lot like Paul and Barnabas as they left Antioch in today’s first reading? “The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”
The readings for this Fourth Sunday of Easter are filled with the reasons we have to be joyful. From the first reading when Paul makes it clear that each of us is part of the Kingdom of God to the second reading in which John has a vision which includes every “nation, people, race, and tongue” to the Gospel in which Jesus comforts us by saying of us, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish,” it is clear that we, too, are a chosen people.
Calling stewardship a “joyful response” brings to mind other ways that way of life has been described, including “a grateful response” and “a disciple’s response.” All of those apply to the good steward. Because we place our trust in the Lord, we understand that He is the Shepherd, the Lamb of God, and we are His flock. Another psalmist proclaims, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” (Psalm 24:1) The more we come to see that God entrusts these things to us for the purpose of serving and glorifying God, the more we are able to offer them joyfully back to God.