As the sacred season of Lent continues this month as a time of reflection, repentance, and preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter, we strive to grow closer to Christ during this period through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. A frequently overlooked but deeply meaningful approach to enhancing one’s Lenten spiritual journey is to embrace the stewardship way of life. How can stewardship help Catholics deepen their commitment to their Lenten spiritual journey and ultimately draw closer to Christ? Stewardship is a way of life rooted in the belief that everything we have – our time, talents, and treasure – is a gift from God. We are called to be good stewards of these gifts, using them to serve God and others. Stewardship goes beyond the idea of simply giving back to God; it’s about recognizing that all we have is ultimately God’s, and we are entrusted with these resources for a purpose. Here are some ideas on how stewardship can be integrated into one’s Lenten journey:
Give Time in Service: Lent is a time for self-examination and a renewed focus on serving others. By volunteering your time for charitable organizations or within your parish, you can actively participate in almsgiving. Choose a cause that resonates with you, whether it’s helping the less fortunate, visiting the elderly, or mentoring the youth. Stewardship reminds us that time is a valuable resource and dedicating it to others is a way to draw closer to Christ’s selfless love.
Share Talents with the Community: Your unique talents and skills are gifts from God, and they can be used to serve your faith community during Lent. Whether you have musical talents, artistic abilities, or organizational skills, consider how you can contribute to your parish or church activities. Share your talents to enrich the liturgy, contribute to spiritual growth, or support your fellow parishioners in their Lenten journey.
A Lenten Sacrifice of Treasure: The concept of tithing is an essential aspect of stewardship. During Lent, consider making a financial sacrifice as a way to live out almsgiving. This could involve increasing your regular giving to your parish or contributing to a special charity or mission project. The act of sacrificial giving not only helps those in need, but it also serves as a reminder of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.
Cultivate a Prayerful Heart: Stewardship extends to our spiritual lives as well. A key aspect of stewardship is recognizing the importance of prayer and deepening our relationship with God. Use Lent as an opportunity to focus on prayer, both in personal reflection and communal worship. Pray for guidance in stewarding your time, talents, and treasure in a way that honors God and serves His people.
Self-Examination and Reflection: Lent is a season of self-examination, repentance, and turning towards God. Embrace the practice of regularly examining your stewardship in your daily life. Are you using your gifts and resources to their fullest potential in service to God and others? Consider making a commitment to reevaluate and adjust your stewardship practices as you journey through Lent.
Practice Gratitude: Stewardship is grounded in gratitude for the blessings we’ve received. Throughout Lent, consciously practice gratitude for the many gifts God has entrusted to you. Reflect on how these gifts can be used to serve others and draw closer to Christ.
Embracing stewardship during Lent can be a transformative experience as we seek a deeper connection to Christ in preparation for His resurrection at Easter. It reminds us that our time, talents, and treasure are gifts from God, and it challenges us to use these gifts to serve others and glorify God. By giving of ourselves in a spirit of stewardship, we can live out the core principles of Lent — prayer, fasting, and almsgiving — in a way that reflects Christ’s love and sacrifice. Ultimately, this way of life can help us grow closer to Christ and become better disciples of His love.