“It’s not just for breakfast anymore.” That was the slogan of the orange growers a number of years ago as they tried to promote more sales of orange juice. In other words, “Drink more orange juice at other times of the day.” You could say something similar about stewardship. “It’s not just about money anymore.” Actually it never was just about money; it was the recognition that everything belongs to God, including money.
In the book of Genesis after he creates the world (Genesis 1:28–30), God tells Adam and Eve, “Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all living things that move on the earth.” He went on to give them all that covered the earth so as to be the first stewards of his creation. So then, we see the two sons of Adam and Eve giving back to God some of his gifts as good stewards should (Genesis 4). Cain sacrificed some of the fruit from the soil, and Abel sacrificed one of the best firstlings of his flock. Ever since then, God’s people gave something back to God – because they were grateful. King David has a beautiful prayer, “Therefore, our God we give you thanks and praise the majesty of your name… For everything is from you, and we only give you what we have received from you” (1 Chronicles 29:14-16). David, Cain, and Abel realized their dependence on God and, in gratitude, paid him back.
However, this week’s gospel (Matthew 21:33-43) shows some selfish and greedy stewards who not only refuse to give the landowners any of the produce, they beat and killed some of his servants and even killed his son. Naturally, those stewards came to a bad end because of their selfish greed. Let us be ever grateful for God’s gifts and generous in giving back to God a portion of what is his.
“We are occupied with a hundred and one things which, for the most part, amount to nothing; while, as for Jesus Christ, we pass hours and even whole days without giving him a thought. Or, if we do, it is so indef inite that we are scarcely conscious of it.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars