October 11, 2015 — Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
As Catholics, we acknowledge that there will be a Judgment Day, that final day on which Christ comes again, and when we all stand in judgment on how we have lived our lives. The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it this way: “When the Lord comes at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, the glorious Christ will render to each man and woman according to their works, and according to their acceptance or refusal of grace.” (#682)
The principal author of our U.S. Bishops Pastoral Letter on Stewardship (Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response) tried to explain stewardship and how it relates to judgment in this way: “Each of us has received a garden; that garden is the many gifts and graces we have received from God. At our final judgment, the Lord will only ask us one question: ‘What have you done with the garden I gave you?’ ”
That is, of course, a simplified version of judgment, but it is an accurate measure of how we may be judged. We have received gifts, varied and different to be sure, but gifts nonetheless, from a beneficent God. What have we done with those gifts? Have we used them as Christ expects us — to further and build the Kingdom, to help those in need, and to show our love for others by sharing? That is the stewardship way.