Stewards of God’s gifts in a family- not passive beneficiaries –
A Steward’s Calling – The Spirit shows us the way.
The life of a Christian steward models the life of Jesus. It is challenging and even difficult, in many respects, yet intense joy comes to those who take the risk to live as Christian stewards. Women and men who seek to live as stewards learn that “all things work for good for those who love God” (Rom 8:28).
After Jesus, we look to Mary as an ideal steward. As the Mother of Christ, she lived her ministry in a spirit of fidelity and service; she responded generously to the call. We must ask ourselves: Do we also wish to be disciples of Jesus Christ and Christian stewards of our world and our Church? Central to our human and Christian vocations, as well as to the unique vocation each one of us receives from God, is that we be good stewards of the gifts we possess. God gives us this divine-human workshop, this world and Church of ours.
Mother Mary, Joseph and Jesus are our role models when it comes to know how to lead a family Life which is pleasing to God. We see here that Obedience is the most important factor as Mary chose to place Her trust in God as so her husband Joseph. They too lived among families and communities. It is obvious that just as we feel obligated or often times pressured to Conform to traditions or cultures emulated all around, Mary and Joseph instead chose to obey GOD and that made all the difference to Jesus. He could then be raised to be able to fulfill His Mission on Earth. He was being hunted even before His birth but it is Divine Providence that He walked the earth to complete His Mission to bring the TRUTH of this WAY in our own lives to be led to CONFORM by His Light, lest we are led astray by a surge of loud Voices in darkness as says our Pope Francis.
With the advent of films, TV and Internet it seems that almost everyone seems to be having a say and rightfully so, but what we have to remember is that what we say and do, should conform to the Teachings of Jesus who has already spoken for ALL and when we fail to SEEK, then we do not know what He teaches us each for our role in this BIG PICTURE of God for His Creations. This situation then seems ideal for us to be led astray.
So if a Family has Elders who set the example in Actions just as did my Parents seeking from the Bible, then they got up to work hard to bring and raise us in their honest earnings. And so raising 4 children costs money but since money alone cannot bring guidance to children against the many lures of the World, our father made the right decision to ask his wife to work at home. And then they raised us two brothers and two sisters with me as the eldest to be educated and be able to stand on our two feet before we were married. They did this even as the rest of the people in the community or the country we lived in looked down on Women as weak and inferior..!
When we go to the Church, we see that the Readings, the Gospel and the Holy Mass is for Man, Woman and children. We together comprise the Body of Jesus and as such then we can learn, that in the Body of Christ we cannot then say that one part is less significant than others for every designed part of a Body is a Creation with Divine thoughtfulness in its Design.
So when people take matters into their own hands to either give more prominence to Sons and keep the girl child or Women weak, it is always to take advantage or exploit them. This leads to imbalance where then we have so many killing off a girl child or choosing to abort.. So why are Sons coveted so much in this world at the cost of daughters? What made my parents shower love and hard work on us daughters just as they did on their Sons? It mattered to my life because I am now capable of understanding what teaches the Church v/s what teaches the World and to DISCERN where lies the truth for my Good and the Good of all others around me in a family or in a community. A Woman can be good for the family as well as any Man. It is Divine Plan.
So when I have a similarly God-fearing Man as a husband, we too make a decision to accept children as God’s Gifts for us and to help them grow by hard work to raise them to be Christians in Actions following the Faith. But I did face initial problems in the home of my husband who was away frequently for then I was told that I cannot visit my parents who lived in the same city because my Parents were the parents of ‘a daughter’ while they were Parents of a Son, my husband. And apparently in spite of being Christians they preferred to be led by some culture of other communities around which did not accord a Woman equal rights as a Man.
But knowing better, I politely refused to bow down to this indignity and insisted on my Rights to visit my Parents once a fortnight to ensure their well-being as my father had a heart condition and it was the era without landlines or the ease of mobile hones that we have today to stay in touch. This of course caused some discord especially when I was pregnant but after our child was born, my Parents insisted that we take our child to visit my in-laws regularly even as they did not choose to come for the Baptism of this little girl child.
Even though at that time I could not see the Wisdom of taking a child to the home of my in-laws where we were not welcome, in due course matters thawed and I am happy that my parents taught me the spirit of forgiveness and perseverance for then both our children, our grandchildren are in regular touch with these Grandmothers, both Widows and forced to live alone because of the migration of their children. Matters all around in the family would be much more cordial and congenial if all Conformed to the Church and duly teach their children by the Wisdom of God, be it Man or Woman.
So if parents in a family learn and teach from the Bible to work hard and then earn, they will also know to be faithful and fruitful stewards of the Blessings that come their way. So a daughter made capable to be strong and faithful will show that – be it that she may be a daughter, wife, Mother, daughter-in-law or GrandMother. So also a Son taught well will be a hardworking and honest sibling, husband, parent, or a community member. This has direct impact on families as a community and thereby the Nations on this earth.
So when Jesus teaches that we have to not only SEEK but also then evangelize, meaning SHARE with others as example, it is a profound TRUTH that we PRACTICE what we PREACH lest we become Hypocrites in our own homes or communities. And we then see our own children and family will be our first and primary Witnesses to the Faith as I saw and remember my own Parents in Actions as the years rolled by..! And I today joyfully share this testimony for it will matter to our own children, grandchildren to know that TIME does not wait for anyone. So whether we SEEK or NOT, we do grow in years but that does not necessarily translate into Christianity unless we get up to SEEk each day.
This lack of seeking by many has had its drastic effects on my own family and then we suffered. But now I know that this Suffering comes to us just as it came to Jesus because of the Sins through ignorance and arrogance of so many. So if Jesus chose to get up each day and put His Prayers into ACTIONS each day to address the many Sins around, we as Shepherds of our own families have to be vigilant that the children entrusted to us have to be taken care of as Stewards, be it for their expenses to be incurred for their growth or help them along the way as they will have to, in due course in their own lives.
When God grants us each our own talents and opportunities it is Divine to follow the Church when it comes to taking care of our families with the means we earn. Can we covet or SAVE first and then expect others to take care of what should be our Duties.? Can parents spend their time or money on enjoying their own lives instead of working hard to raise their children to fulfill their part being in the Plan of God’s Kingdom? We then see all around the ravages on youth everywhere where they are left on their own.
While the poor have to send their children to bring in whatever they can in countries like India where there was not enough LAW applied to see that every child has the opportunity to learn and then get out of poverty, it is heartening to see how diligent and dedicated effort of some have brought about much-needed awareness of the vicious cycle of keeping children without necessary education or legal and gainful employment opportunities.
But when the Rich and affluent got carried away in spending their earnings, time and energy in lavish and wasteful ways, it is because they then found no use for the Church Teachings in their lives other than attending the Mass as just an ‘obligation.’ This led to their children similarly being led astray as they witnessed these Sins in their own families and Elders in the community.
This could have been stemmed by effective Shedding of the Light of Jesus’ Teachings for families by the shepherds assigned, but there has been an era where the shepherds themselves did not duly seek from Jesus on how to TEND or LEAD the Sheep under them. It is no wonder then we had so many lacking Shepherds as also Hypocrites and WOLVES abounding, leading us to this day where we all on Mother Earth, are so dangerously close to being victims of this UNHOLY WAR. So while most of the super RICH are brazen and conniving to COVET off the large public, they then are in a position to make themselves more Rich and usurp all that is meant for the Good on this earth for everyone. They misuse their Blessings and are unworthy STEWARDS of all that they have…it costs the poor and the Innocents, specially the coming generations of children who will inherit that which we leave to them.
When the Rich callously covet and enrich themselves further to disgrace the Stewardship and disregard be it the AIR, LAND or the WATER on earth to pollute them in the quest of never ending Greed and ambition for their own good, we see how lack of awareness of the ‘Church and Jesus’ has consequences when the Shepherds in charge do not do their part of SEEKING and doing their Discipleship addressing openly and in public the problems and how we can overcome these problems by timely application of Jesus into the lives of every Man, Woman and children on earth to serve the Religion of Humanity…in Christ.
The Rich shares for the common good as Stewards and the poor have to be taught to be enable them to rise and support themselves and then together all can work hard to BUILD GREAT NATIONS for the common Good of people on Mother Earth, a Gift for each one alive in this place for who can DENY – that we did not come here on our own, but that the Divine Being sent each one of us in the Gift of this unique Designed BODY to live and thrive by being Obedient unto Him for the Common Good. Anyone who professes to follow Jesus ought to Seek and help to tend, feed and lead each other, back to Him.
Jn 21:15-19. – He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” (Jesus) said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”
Saint John Climacus (c.575-c.650), monk on Mount Sinai
The Ladder of Divine Ascent – Shepherds following the one Shepherd
“….The true shepherd is he who, by his goodness, zeal and prayer, is able to seek out and restore to the right way those reasonable sheep who are lost….A good pilot saves his ship and a good shepherd restores to life and heals his ailing sheep. When the sheep are out at pasture, let the shepherd not cease to make use of the flute of the word, especially when the flock are making ready to sleep. For the wolf fears nothing so much as the shepherd’s flute. Inasmuch as the sheep have faithfully followed the shepherd and made progress, so will he answer for them before the Master of the household.
It is charity that discloses the true shepherd since it is out of charity that the great shepherd of the sheep willed to be crucified.