Stewardship

The Bible contains a profound message about the stewardship of material creation: God created the world, but entrusts it to human beings.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says that caring for and cultivating the world involves the joyful appreciation for the God-given beauty and wonder of nature; the protection and preservation of the environment, which would be the stewardship of ecological concern; the respect for human life—shielding life from threat and assault, doing everything that can be done to enhance this gift and make life flourish; and the development of this world through noble human effort—physical labor, the trades and professions, the arts and sciences.

We call such effort “work.”  Work is a fulfilling human vocation.  The Second Vatican Council points out that, through work, we build up not only our world but the Kingdom of God, already present among us.  Work is a partnership with God—our share in a divine human collaboration in creation.  It occupies a central place in our lives as Christian stewards.

The USCCB goes on to say that Jesus calls us, as his disciples, to a new way of life—the Christian way of life—of which stewardship is part.  But Jesus does not call us as nameless people in a faceless crowd.  He calls us individually, by name.

Each one of us—clergy, religious, lay person; married, single; adult, child—has a personal vocation.  God intends each one of us to play a unique role in carrying out the divine plan.  The challenge, then, is to understand our role—our vocation—and to respond generously to this call from God.  Christian vocation entails the practice of stewardship.  In addition, Christ calls each of us to be stewards of our personal vocations, which we receive from God. (8:51)