We have suffered through a long and stressful year. It is a year that has heaped upon us many distractions. But as we look toward 2021 with hope, let us remember to get back to the fundamentals of being good stewards of our life in Christ. Stewardship is a commitment of mind and heart to the Lord; a way of life that needs constant renewal and transformation.
This time of year has always been one of looking forward to a new year, reflecting on the changes we need to make in our lives and resolving to follow through on those changes. Perhaps those who seek to make resolutions to be better stewards might find inspiration in one or more of the following areas of Christian stewardship:
Stewardship of Prayer: Resolve to strengthen your relationship with the Lord through prayer. Notice how often you pray and what hinders you from praying. If you are a beginner, commit to short, daily prayer times.
Stewardship of Family: Resolve to set aside more time to stay connected with your family even if it is through digital technology. Eat dinner together, schedule regular dates with your spouse, plan family outings, and go to Mass together if that is possible at this time. Practice patience and forgiveness.
Stewardship in the New Year: Making New Commitments to the Lord Stewardship of Health: Resolve to get those medical and dental checkups when it becomes safe. Adopt healthier eating habits. Add exercise and other physical activity to your daily routine. Stewardship of Possessions: Resolve to possess a little more “lightly” this year. Consider ways you can reduce the amount of all that stuff you own. Distinguish between those items that are necessary and those that are considered luxurious and unnecessary.
Stewardship of the Parish Family: Resolve to serve your faith community in creative way given the new limitations on some parish activities. Is it time to enhance your generosity to the parish?
Stewardship of Money: Resolve to render sacred your annual budget. Reprioritize your financial goals to ensure that the Lord comes first in your spending. Take positive steps to improve your financial health Stewardship of Work: Even if you are working remotely, resolve to be faithful to your daily, work-related tasks and offer them up to the Lord. Cultivate your skills. Deepen your knowledge. Be mindful of how you are building the Kingdom of God.
Stewardship of Mind: Resolve to keep your mind active. Commit to being more informed on the issues of the day. Read your Bible. Become even more familiar with Catholic social teaching. Stewardship of Neighbor: Realizing the need for social distancing, resolve to be a person of hospitality and mercy. Make time and space for others who enter your life. Be more aware of those times when a neighbor, co-worker, fellow parishioner or stranger, needs a moment of kindness, a little attention or an affirming gesture on your part.
Stewardship of the Poor: Resolve to live with more compassion and in solidarity with those less fortunate. Remember the poor in prayer, and commit to helping relieve in some way the plight of those who are impoverished or marginalized.