“The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” These words by Bishop Robert Morneau, retired auxiliary bishop of Green Bay Wisconsin, are wise words as we get caught up in all the controversy in our country and around the world with so many spoiling for a fight. So much rhetoric and anger, so little respect and dialogue.
But what is the “main thing?” It’s God of course! Our generous, loving, and merciful creator should be the main focus of our lives and the lens through which we see others.
Twenty five years ago, our American bishops wrote a pastoral letter about the main thing (God) and our proper outlook on our relationship to him. They reminded us that all creation is a gift from God, and that we are his stewards of creation. Our time, talents, and treasure are not our exclusive possessions; they are God’s gifts on loan to us as we walk through life. “The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and all who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1). Therefore, one day God will require an accounting of the use (stewardship) each person has made of the particular portion of these goods entrusted to him or her. Jesus’ Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) tells our Lord’s thought about stewardship. Spoiler alert: those stewards who made good use of the owner’s money were rewarded; the steward who didn’t was rebuked and rejected by the Master.
“Who is a Christian steward? One who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with increase to God.” (1992 U.S. Bishops Pastoral Letter)Several weeks ago, I encouraged you all to reflect on your stewardship of time, especially in regard to time spent in prayer. This week, I ask you to reflect on the talents God has given you. Could you be a little more generous in your talent as a father/mother, husband/wife, son/daughter, brother/sister, church volunteer—lector, choir member, altar server, greeter, finance committee, sodality, usher/usherette, hospitality committee, sanctuary society, home visitor, etc?
As we read in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Not only will you please God, you will find happiness. Jesus said “There is more happiness in giving than receiving.” (Acts 20:35)
”One sin can not excuse another sin.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars