The grateful Christian Disciple then shares these gifts with others. This word “share” is actually a uniquely important word in the entire life of stewardship. Because sharing is actually a very simple way for us to understand the gift of self that is natural to God. You see the life of the Trinity is a life in which they give themselves to one another. The Father gives himself to the Son, the Son gives Himself to the Father and in that bond of love, is the Holy Spirit.
The Trinity did not need to create anything. Creation was not a necessary action of God. So if it is not a necessary action of God we have to ask ourselves, “Then why would He do it?” The answer is because it’s in the nature of God to GIVE. We are a sheer choice of God for Him to simply share life; He says, “Here is my life.” All things are a fundamental gift of God. Even though He did not have to he has chosen to give us existence. He gave give us breathe and life for eternity. What a beautiful thing this is to be able to simply exist.
Sharing is actually imitating God’s interior life. As the Father shares Himself with the Son, and the Son with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, just as the Father shares Himself in the act of creating us and the act of creating all things, Stewardship is a participating in that fundamental sharing of God. Stewardship is a recognition, “I have gifts and talents.” By nature I share these because that is what humans do. We inter into relationship and into communion and the fundamental reality in that relationship is the gift of self.
In today’s Gospel Jesus ends with saying "then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God." We then have to ask ourselves, “What belongs to God, that I may give it back Him?” The fundamental answer is EVERYTHING. There is nothing you have or you posse that is the result of your own activity. One may question, “What about our paychecks? Did we not work for the paycheck?” But ask yourself, “Who gave you that life so that you may work at all?” You may say, “What about my fields? Did I not plow my fields?” But I say, “Who gave you your hands to be able to pull the plow that was drug through the fields?” You did not create your body, nor your mind, your heart, nor your soul. Who you are as you are, if you have any ability whatsoever, is because God has given you existence in life. Therefore anything you have anything you posses are fundamentally an act of God who has bestowed blessings and gifts upon you. Stewardship is recognizing the fundamental gift of life and responding to the fundamental gift by sharing it with other people.
But why should we share our life with others? What motivates us to be stewards? Is it fear? EITHER be a steward or you won’t go to heaven? There are a lot of things that can motivate us to give ourselves to other people that may not be authentic motivations. But within stewardship the motivation is love of God and love of neighbor. LOVE at its root is the gift of self, it is the right motivation for Stewardship.
However people often find motivators to give things away even in acts of stewardship that may not be pure motivations. Maybe its ostentation, “I want everybody else to see what I have given.” “Look at me I am able to do this, or that.” Or, “Look at how much I have given.” Such persons are like those hypocrites who blow there horn on the street corner so that everyone can see how they might be able to live their life before Go. But Jesus warned them “you already received your reward.” Other people might be motivated because they don’t trust other people can do the job well. They say to themselves, “I am going to step in and do this because no one else can do this is the way that I can.” Other people might be motivated by a since of power, “I want to have control, I want it done my way. Therefore I will squeeze people out so that I can get the things done exactly as I want them to be done.” Those are not the motivators for true stewardship. The motivator for true stewardship is the good of the other person, the good of the community, the good of the parish, the love of God and love of neighbor.
There is a real risk in stewardship. But we must remember God will not be outdone in generosity. Let’s consider our time. We recognize that time is a precious commodity in most people’s lives. Sometimes we feel that we don’t have time to pray, “I don’t have time to go to the church to help out.” God will not be out done in generosity. If you give of you time He will bless you.
Let’s consider our talents. God has bestowed upon you a certain amount of gifts that he expects for you to use. Perhaps you think to yourself, “My talent is not as good as someone else’s,” or, “somebody else can do an action better.” But God has equipped you in a unique way. Every time you use your talents, for the good of other people God will bless you for the use of those talents. He will not be out done in generosity.
Let’s consider our treasure. There is no one in their right mind who sits there and says, “I have enough money.” The giving of our treasure is always difficult. There is now one who can say, “Oh look, this is so easy for me to give away my 10%.” Every time we encounter the gift of our tithe that 10% is always a mentally challenging task. But this is one of the most concrete we recognize all that God has given us. Tithing is always an act of trust. I guarantee you this - God will not be out done in generosity. I have never seen a person forsaken who has faithfully given their 10%. Perhaps we will not have all the luxuries we desire, but you will not be lacking in what is necessary for you to life a full free and happy life. God will bless you for He will not be out done in generosity.
Stewardship is the grateful response of a Christian discipleship that recognizes and receives God’s gifts, and shares these gifts in love of God and neighbor. If you trust the fundamental foundation of the Gospel and give the time, and talent and treasure that God has asked of you, then your life will be overflowing with joy. Challenge yourself here this season of renewal to increase your ability to be stewards of God’s gifts with the fundamental knowledge that God will not be out done in generosity.