“Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (1 Cor 4:1)
When we think of stewardship we usually think about the sharing of our gifts of our time, talents, and treasures. I do not wish to downplay the importance of these gifts, but I do want to draw our attention to the kind of stewardship Saint Paul is encouraging among the people of Corinth. We are “stewards of the mysteries of God.” Even the pagans can share their time, talents, and treasures; only we can offer the world the gift of Faith in Jesus Christ. Only Christians can truly be stewards of the gift of Hope.
Our world promises security, but it is a fragile promise. Each new day brings change and upheaval that test us, often beyond the limits of our human virtues. Only the infinite joy of heaven can put these trials in proper perspective. Compared to the greatness of God’s love and mercy, the biggest problem in this life is merely a passing affliction. It is our hope in God that allows us to bear such trials with patience and joy. It is our faith in God’s fidelity that strengthens us for each day’s battles.
As we begin the season of Lent this Wednesday, let us keep our focus on hope. Try to make your Lenten resolutions an expression of your hope in Christ Jesus. Ask yourself: does my chosen penance show others my hope in God? Can I do this with the joy and love that is appropriate to a Child of God?
I leave you with the words of Pope Francis, from last week’s general audience:
“Trusting in the Lord, one becomes like Him; His blessing transforms us into His children, who share His life. Hope in God makes us enter, as it were, within the range of God’s action, of His memory which blesses and saves us.”