More than twenty years ago, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a pastoral letter titled “Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response.” This document was an initiative to follow Christ who gave of himself for us. Each of us is called to serve our neighbor and to be stewards of God’s creation and of all that has been entrusted to us. However, to truly understand stewardship, we must look to the holy Eucharist. The holy Eucharist is the total gift of our loving Savior to us. Stewardship is our response to that gift.
Even though the word “Eucharist” implies stewardship, the word Eucharist finds its root in the Latin word Eucharista, which in turn came from the Greek word Eukaristos, which meant, quite simply, “gratitude” or “thanksgiving”. How fitting that we, who are called to be a stewardship people, celebrate at the focal point of every Mass an act of thanksgiving and gratitude, namely the reception of Jesus’ gift to us as the Eucharist. The Eucharist is stewardship celebrated. God’s love for us is without limit, and he offers himself to us in the holy sacrament of Eucharist. Stewardship is simply how we choose to respond to that beautiful and amazing gift.
Deacon John Bartos