February 26, 2017 — Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
IS 49: 14-15; PS 62: 2-3, 6-9; 1 COR 4: 1-5; MT 6: 24-34
St. Paul had both a deep understanding and appreciation for stewardship — what it meant to be a good steward. In his First Letter to the Corinthians, our Second Reading on this last Sunday in Ordinary Time before Lent begins, Paul states eloquently, “Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”
As is the case with all Holy Scripture, Paul is writing to more than the Corinthians; he is writing to each of us as well. Paul’s understanding of what a steward was is that he manages the household of God. Managing included preserving and protecting. We are also to be servants (disciples) of Christ, and Paul goes on to say that a servant steward must be trustworthy. To Paul that meant we are to be faithful in order to be good disciples.
There are several difficulties for us in all of those terms and requirements: being stewards, being servants, and being faithful. They mean that we have to place ourselves second to others and second most of all to Christ our Savior. We tend to question this and tend to have strong feelings of independence. That is what we learn from our society. Yet, to be a steward like Paul requires us to be humble and accepting. That may be our greatest test.
St. Augustine wrote, “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of others.” That, too, is stewardship.