Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative

catechetical resourses for the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative RCIA in

the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative adult

education in the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative

Exploring the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative Early

Church Fathers
Crossroads Initiatitve, a ministry of Dr. Marcellino

   D'Ambrosio        
 
 
 

Stewardship

Dr. D'Ambrosio - Holy Land Pilgrimage

 

A Lesson in Stewardship

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

 

Ten Commandments, Catholic Church, Confirmation, Teen

 

Stewardship . . . what does this term really mean?  The parable of the Dishonest steward in Luke 16 argues against the divorce between God and everyday life.  Though it is impossible to serve both God and Mammon, it is very important to serve God by the way we use money.  Stewardship does not just mean giving to the church of time, talent, and treasure, but prudently increasing the master's property, taking initiative to be fruitful.  Sometimes this means looking for ways to earn more money through employment, business opportunities, and investments, so that we can give more.

 

Our society tolerates religion, as long as it keeps to itself.  After all, America is about the separation of Church and state, right?  Education, entertainment, employment, politics are supposed to be “religion-free.”  The removal of the Ten Commandments from an Alabama courthouse several years ago was just one sign of this misguided divorce between faith and life.

 

Like it or not, we are subtly influenced by this attitude and often exile God from entire areas of our everyday life.  Twenty years ago, a Gallup poll called “Religion in America” demonstrated that 89% of regular churchgoers live their lives exactly in the same way as non-churchgoers–same rate of marital infidelity, cheating on income taxes, etc.

 

One area we keep God-free is politics.  We’ve heard prominent Catholic politicians say they are personally opposed to abortion, but cannot bring their faith into their political decision-making.  Another “God-free zone” is the financial arena.  It is interesting that Jesus speaks much more in the gospels about money than about sex.  And yet should politics or money be mentioned from the pulpit, many become indignant.

 

If we do hear about money in Church, it is often in the context of stewardship, of the obligation to give of our “time, talent, and treasure.”

 

Prudence, Stewardship, Catholic Church

In Luke 16, Jesus provides a provocative lesson on stewardship.  He presumes we know that a steward is someone entrusted with the administration of his master’s property.  What is expected of the steward, anyway?  To conserve his masters property and maintain it, of course.  In this story, the master owns an agricultural business.  The nature of a business is to turn a profit. The steward’s job, then, was not just to maintain the property, but to grow the business.  If you entrust hard-earned money to the stewardship of a stock broker, don’t you expect him to grow that portfolio?  Remember the parable of the talents in Mat 25– the master was very stern with the steward who preserved what he’d been given but failed to make it grow.

 

The steward in Luke 16 did not increase his master’s property.  He squandered it.  It is not clear if he did so through dishonest greed or by foolish business decisions.  But in any case, he failed.  When he was given a termination notice, he suddenly kicked into gear. To ingratiate himself with those who could provide for him after he lost his job, he wrote off part of their debt.  Scripture scholars disagree about the meaning of this.  Some say he did this dishonestly at the expense of his master.  Others say that he was simply giving away his own commission.  I think the latter makes more sense, since rather than rebuking him, his master praised him for his prudence. 

 

Parish, Stewardship, Catholic Faith

Prudence means taking initiative to get something done, coming up with a plan, and being willing to sacrifice some present pleasures (his commission on a few deals) to generate long-term benefits.

 

The moral?  How ironic it is that non-spiritual people often take more initiative, exercise more creativity, and expend more effort than spiritual people when it comes to getting what they want.

 

Stewardship means more than just throwing five bucks in the basket and signing up to help with the Lenten fish fry.  It means realizing that all we have is entrusted to us by God and that we have an obligation to grow it, making it as fruitful as possible for his glory.  The steward asks these questions: How can I free up the most time for the most important things – God, the Church, and family?  How can I develop my talents so as to be most effective for God’s glory?

 

Charity, Stewardship, Catholic Faith, The Great Divorce

When it comes to money, good stewards ask: how can I make better use of the money I already have to further God’s work?  But another question often needs also to be asked: how can I generate more income so as to give more?  Churches need to do this.  We call that fund-raising.  Christian individuals and families need to do this too.  We call this employment, business opportunity, and investment.  Making smart and profitable decisions in this regard is a spiritual and holy thing to do.

 

But what about Jesus’ warning that you can’t serve both God and Mammon?  If financial decisions result in self-indulgence at the expense of honesty and justice (see Amos 8:4ff), then you are serving mammon.  If your increased profits finance your family, your church, Christian education, evangelization, the crisis pregnancy center, or local homeless shelter, chances are you are serving God.

 

For Spanish - Click Here!

 

This originally appeared in Our Sunday Visitor as a reflection on the Scripture readings for the 25th Sunday in ordinary Time, Cycle C (Amos 8:4-7; Ps 113; 1 Tim 2:1-8; Lk 16:1-13).  It is reproduced here by permission of the author.

 

Follow Us -

Join us on FacebookJoin us on Facebook

 

 

Join us on TwitterJoin us on Twitter

 

 

 

Download and Print The Prodigal Son

Click here to download, print and share Call to Stewardship!

 

For more Catholic resources to feed your faith, visit the Crossroads Initiative Homepage.

 

Win a Free CD - Catholic Online Resources

 

To sign up for our free weekly e-mail with Dr. D'Ambrosio's commentary on the Sunday readings, liturgical feasts, updates on where Dr. D will be speaking, a chance to WIN a FREE CD and MORE, CLICK HERE!

 

Want to read more about this topic? Be sure to visit our library for other related articles such as:

The Rich Young Man, by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

The Commission of the Good Samaritan 

Where Do You Stand?

Exploring the Catholic Church: An Introduction to Catholic Teaching & Practice
 Exploring the Catholic Church Introduction to Catholic Doctrine and Practice, a Roman Catholic Book Exploring the Catholic Church: An Introduction to Catholic Teaching and Practice by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio is an accessible, affordable Roman Catholic Book--perfect gift for anyone!! -- the inactive Catholic, the Sunday Catholic wanting to know more, Protestants who want to know why Catholics do what they do. In fact there are TWO chapters devoted to the meaning of the Eucharist and how to get more out of it!  An enjoyable approach to faith formation and religious education.

 


 

History of the Church Bundle
 History of the Bundle Have you ever wanted to learn more about the Church’s History, like who are The Early Church Fathers and why do they matter in our modern Church? Find out with Early Church Fathers: Who They are and Why They Matter and Early Church Fathers VOL I & II. These CDs will open up a whole new depth to your understanding of the Church and presented by Dr. Italy – you know that they will come to life! But, don’t stop with the Early Church Fathers – find out what REALLY happened in the divide of the Church! Christianity Divided, a 2 CD set will take you through the history of the Orthodox and Protestant divisions in the Church.

 


 

Feast of Faith -

The Transforming Power of the Eucharist

 

"The Feast of Faith," is an enlightening, four-part adult faith formation series (on 2 CDs, or 2 DVDs) guaranteed to unlock the life-changing power of the Eucharist in your life. Be sure to order the Feast of Faith Workbook, you may view it online, to get the most out of this amazing Eucharist Series!

 

Feast of Faith DVD - $49.95

Feast of Faith – CD - $19.95

Feast of Faith Workbook - $6.95 

 


 

Grace Cafe - Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering
 Grace Cafe - Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering "Ever wish you had a cookbook for life as a Catholic wife and mother … a step-by-step guide for various “domestic church” situations? Consider your prayers answered. The recipe theme may be lighthearted, fun even, but there’s real nourishment to be had in this wonderful dish too. Inspiriting entrees — practical ways Catholic women can live out their familial vocation — are seasoned with simple suggestions for answering Christ’s universal call to holiness. Lovely poems conclude each chapter on a note of warmth that will lift hearts beyond the kitchen and point mothers straight toward heaven.

 


Domestic Church Room by Room
 Domestic Church Room by Room "Pope John Paul II wrote that the “little domestic Church, like the greater Church, needs to be constantly and intensely evangelized: hence its duty regarding permanent education in the faith.” That’s a tall order for busy Catholic mothers. You might even say it’s as big as a house: You wouldn’t want to clean the whole thing in one fell swoop but, if you take it one room at a time, you’ll get the job done. In a systematic course that’s equally useful for groups and individuals, this talented author shows how to remodel your home after the spiritual design of Holy Mother Church.

 


 

Confirmation - The Sacrament of Champions 

 Sacrament of Confirmation sacrament of Champions, confirmation gift for RCIA & Catholic teens Why do we need the sacrament of confirmation? What is the purpose and meaning of this sacramental anointing? These questions and more are answered by this dynamic talk appropriate for both teens and adults.

 


 

Mercy Minutes with Jesus
 Mercy Minutes with Jesus Fr. George Kosicki, CSB, a well-known speaker and authority on the Diary and The Divine Mercy message and devotion, has compiled key passages of Jesus' own words to St. Faustina, following themes such as trust, deeds of mercy, and humble simplicity.

 


Home | Site Map | Links | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Free Newsletter | Win a CD | Calender | Donate Now!
A ministry of Crossroads Productions, Inc. + PO Box 271227 + Flower Mound, TX 75027 + 1.800.803.0118 + a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.