May the Lord give you peace!

Next week is the Big Reveal.  Big Reveal is the diocesan initiative to announce the year’s stewardship theme.  In less than two months we will begin the annual stewardship renewal.

It is sometimes said that there is no need for an annual stewardship renewal.  Why can’t one just continue on as usual with the commitments of time, talent and treasure from the previous year?  Wouldn’t it be a lot easier for us to not have to invest our resources, especially time and money, in a renewal each and every year?  Maybe we could just skip a year?

Msgr. McGread, former pastor of St. Francis of Assisi in Wichita and architect of the Stewardship Way of Life in our Diocese, beat the drum on the importance of the renewal.  Msgr. stated that the deliberate process of rededicating oneself to his or her sacrificial gifts of time, talent and treasure for love of God and neighbor revitalizes energy and commitment for living out the stewardship way of life.  Without the renewal, Msgr. holds that there is a weakening in one’s overall commitment.

Msgr. McGread makes a very legitimate point concerning the importance of making an annual renewal of our stewardship commitment.  There is also another reason for making an annual stewardship commitment, namely, the importance of discernment.  The Stewardship Way of Life is a calling by God to live out our discipleship in a specific way.  As a continuous call from God, the particulars of the Stewardship Way of Life often change.  What God is calling us to in one year may change the following year.  The absence of truly discerning what God is inviting me to share in my gifts of time, talent and treasure will eventually lead to a spiritual rut. 

The beauty and draw of the Stewardship Way of Life lies in the knowledge and certainty that God himself is calling me to make particular gifts for the furthering of His kingdom.  St. Paul’s incredible enthusiasm and zeal for carrying out his stewardship was rooted in his knowledge of being called by Christ.  Moreover, St. Paul was constantly discerning.  Discernment of our stewardship commitment through prayer and reflection leads to a joyful sacrifice of time, talent and treasure in love to God the Father.  Such knowledge will certainly lead to greater enthusiasm in living out the Stewardship Way of Life.

As we anticipate our annual parish stewardship renewal, I would like to invite you to start praying about your personal gifts of time, talent and treasure.  What is the Lord inviting you to this coming year?  Is the Lord inviting you to make changes in the particulars of your giving?  Is he asking you to give out of a purer intention?

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,

Fr. John F. Jirak, Pastor