“For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
If you held a mirror up to your life, would it reflect God’s love and mercy? If you are struggling with this, try changing your attitude from “I want more” to "thank you God for everything you have given me, I have enough to share.” This change in perspective will bring you joy through service to others. Pray daily to become less self-centered and to become more God-centered.
“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25
Jesus uses tough language that we may not want to hear. But, we are all called to be generous with all of our gifts. Not just the ones we pick and choose, but all our gifts, and especially the one that means the most to us! That includes our time in prayer to God, our talent in participating in parish ministries and our treasure supporting our local parish and other charities.
“So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.” (Genesis 2:19)
The creation story reminds us of two important points. First, since the start, God has put the entire world into our care. Second, stewardship has been around since the beginning of mankind, it isn’t something recently invented by the Church. Just as past generations built our Church, it is now our responsibility to continue to nurture and develop gifts for future generations.
“Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.” Mark 9:41
We are made in God’s image and likeness. We tend to forget this. When you look at other, do you see the face of Jesus in them? When other look at you, do they see the face of Jesus in you? When we realize that all lives matter to God, then gratitude and generously become easier. Why? Because that’s way we are made! We are one Body of Christ; when one of us is hurting, all of us feel the pain.
“If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35
Jesus teaches us that we are called love one another. Love involves sacrifice. Sacrifice is a word that many of us don’t like to hear. We think it means that we must give up something that we want. However, the literal meaning of sacrifice is “to make holy’” from the words “sacer”= sacred and “facere”= to make. In other words, we make our lives holy by sharing our gifts in the service of God.
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me" Mark 8:34
Living a stewardship lifestyle means not only being responsible for my own life, but for the lives of others as well. We realize that our gifts are not intended for ourselves, rather they are meant to be shared with others. "Taking up my cross" means doing things when someone else needs me or not when its convenient for me.
"Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?." James 2:5
What is more important— being rich in faith or rich in possession? Society tells us that possessions are more important. God teaches a different lesson. When we are rich in faith, we keep God first and experience true joy and peace. When we put possessions first, we soon realize we can never have enough and happiness is fleeting. When we put faith over possessions we truly realize it is better to give than receive.