Gratitude and Hope: Stewardship of the Easter Experience

Exercising Christian stewardship has been demanding the last several months as the COVID-19 pandemic turned our world upside down. We were challenged in our ability to be present to others and express gratefulness for the abundance of God’s gifts. Yet, with Easter, there is a restored sense of gratitude and hope. Easter blessings!

We can be grateful for the myriad acts of kindness and immense generosity we witnessed. Kindness, as Saint Paul suggested, gives us hope in the resilience of the human spirit. Embracing hope allows us to emulate the kindness of those who are a light in these dark times.

Let us be grateful for God’s loving presence in our struggle to overcome any anxieties we may have felt about our basic needs being met.

Let us be agents of hope for those who continue to suffer and fear they will not be able to sustain themselves or their families.

Let us be grateful for all those who cared for us, made our lives a little more bearable and served us in so many ways whether they were healthcare professionals; provided for our basic needs including safety, environmental and maintenance services; were part of the supply and distribution chains; all those who continued to go to work at the risk of their own lives.

May God keep them safe and may we find creative ways to lift them up.

May we be grateful for those who used their gifts to discover, create and distribute the vaccines needed to give us hope during this pandemic.

May God continue to inspire us to find safe ways to eradicate this disease. Let us pray in gratitude for our parish communities that continue to keep us close to the Lord and each other, even if only virtually.

May we bring hope and Christ’s love to those who are isolated or feel alienated from our worshipping communities. Let us be grateful for the rediscovery of simple things during this time of uncertainty: for quiet, sacred spaces, better conversations with loved ones or new habits that brought balance to our lives.

May we all find hope in virtues we find in nature, good books, art and music or prayer. Let us remember with gratitude our experience of the cross of Jesus Christ, and the power of that cross to transform our daily lives.

Good stewards recognize the hope Christ brings through the gift of his cross. Stewards profess the cross is their only hope. As we begin the Easter season, let us look back with gratitude and forward with hope. May we continue to experience the joy of new life in the risen Lord. Alleluia! He is risen!