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We are in the midst of this year’s stewardship renewal. Our last witness talk is set for this weekend on the gift of time. As you know, this year we have focused on the what in the “sharing our gifts in love of God and neighbor.” The what can be reduced down to three categories: time, talent and treasure. Our progress or lack of progress in the life of faith, our spiritual life, ultimately depends upon our stewarding of time, talent and treasure. In fact, when we die, we will immediately undergo an accounting of our stewardship technically called the particular judgment. Jesus alludes to this “accounting” in the parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-8).

The reason that we can say with confidence that our personal and eternal salvation will depend upon our stewardship of time, talent and treasure is because, as St. John of the Cross states, in the end we will be judged by love. Of course, love is not a feeling. St. Ignatius of Loyola says it well, “Love shows itself more by deeds than by words." Every deed of love involves our use of either one or a combination of what we possess in time, talent and treasure.

God’s plan to empower us a stewards is extremely attractive. In one sense, stewardship means that God has entrusted us to carry out very, very important work. He has delegated us to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ. The form of delegation that God chooses is that of stewardship and not of “go-fer-ship.” The late leadership genius, Steven Covey, distinguished go-fer delegation as an authority telling a subject to “go for this” and “go for that.” In faith, go-fer delegation would involve God establishing a large list of do’s and don’ts that we must follow with exactitude. Stewardship delegation is different. Stewardship delegation is sharing one’s power and work with another and letting that person use their resources, freedom and conscience to achieve a stated goal. In faith, stewardship delegation means that God has laid down the expected results as eternal life through love of God and neighbor. God has given us a certain amount of time, talent and treasure to produce these results. He has given us a great amount of freedom to create and choose how we share our time, talent and treasure in love of God and neighbor. He has also given us the Church to support, direct and guide us in this work/mission.

Yes, stewardship renewal is truly a “cool” time of the year. It is a time given for us to discern, embrace and commit to the delegated stewardship that God has shared with us in love.

I would like to invite everyone to bring your completed stewardship forms with you on Commitment Sunday, November 29th and 30th. The completed forms will be brought up as part of the offertory and united to Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass. This the content of “my sacrifice and yours” in the preface dialogue of the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass.

Priest: “Prayer brother and sisters that my sacrifice and your may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father.”

People: “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and good of all his holy Church.”

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,

Fr. John F. Jirak

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