When we think of that for which we are most grateful for in life, what do we think of?
Perhaps our health, or a possession or a sequence of events. I think for most of us, though, what we are most grateful for are the relationships, the people, that have had a real impact for good in our lives. Maybe it was a parent who provided for and encouraged us; a friend who was there for us when the world was crumbling around us; a teacher who saw in us what we didn’t see and challenged us to be more; a spouse who inspires us to be more generous and loving.
Now, if the tables were turned, and those people whom we are most grateful for were in need, what would our response be? Who of us would hold back? Our gratitude for them would move us to generously give back to them in their need!
This is what lies at the heart of Christian stewardship: A grateful response of a disciple who recognizes and receives God’s gifts, and shares those gifts in love of God and neighbor. It is founded upon a life of gratitude to God!
Pope Francis called all Catholics to not be ‘spiritual amnesiacs’, that is, to avoid having a ‘what have you done for me lately’ attitude towards God and his Church. It is easy and tempting during times of crisis and renewal to focus on the evils and challenges. They are real, and require a real response… but this week, let’s be intentional about taking the time to pray about the many blessings we have received. To thank God, and ask him: “Lord, how might you be calling me to generously share my gifts with God and neighbor?”