Understanding Stewardship in a Complex World


Whether we are still observing stay-at-home orders or slowly emerging from our quarantine and getting back to Mass in those places where permissible, we know that our Catholic faith is a communal faith, not meant to be lived in isolation. Our prayer and spirituality serve as a springboard to a life of Christian charity and service to others in some form or fashion.

In Saint John’s Gospel, Jesus alludes to the lives of action his disciples will lead. He speaks to God about his followers: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).

As a communion of Christian stewards, we live our Catholic faith in a challenging world. We see overwhelming problems and social ills, and we’re bombarded from so many sides to take action. We are sometimes hit by “compassion fatigue,” and often the issues are complex and our response unsure. There are a host of Catholic agencies that can help us better understand Catholic social teaching and how we apply that teaching to the complexity of world issues that surround us. Catholic Relief Services and Jesuit Refugee Services, to name just two, deal with international issues with a focus on faith, and Catholic Charities USA focuses on domestic issues.

But are you aware that our United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) addresses many issues on the domestic and international front, through its educational resources as well as its activities? Many times, news reports focus on the Church’s position on one or two issues. But in reality, the bishops are very active and outspoken on a wide range of social concerns, and by joining with them as people of faith we can create a united front that promotes positive change and enhances the common good. Through its teachings and programs, the USCCB addresses issues such as human trafficking, hunger among our nation’s poor, the human suffering brought on by Syria’s civil war, employment, health care, the environment, education and capital punishment. Visiting www.usccb.org can bring you up to date on a wide range of issues and show you how you can help address them by applying the teachings of our Catholic faith.

Together as a communion of faith we can make a difference as we live in this world as Christ directed even in these disquieting times.