Simply stewardship

Column: Disciples respond in all places, all times

by Lesle Knop

The death of my friend’s father led to a new understanding of a disciple’s response — our call to greater stewardship.

When someone tells me about the power of prayer and someone’s witness of their love for Jesus Christ, I want to shout from the rooftop in praise to our Father in heaven. When I witness acts of kindness, mercy, compassion and gentleness in this crazy, mixed-up world, I marvel at the power of the Holy Spirit. These acts inspire me and renew my hope in God to transform our world one heart at a time.

This was evident in the story my friend told me recently after a cup of coffee at “Fourbucks.”

My friend is not Catholic and neither is her mother. Her father was Catholic, however. At his death, her mother honored her husband with the rite of Christian burial and had his body buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Lenexa. Not long afterward, her mother was invited to attend a special Mass for the families of those recently buried at the cemetery.

“Mom wasn’t sure when to stand or when to sit,” she said, “and at the sign of peace, the woman sitting next to her gave her a great big hug and wouldn’t let go.

“She whispered in my mother’s ear that after Mass she wanted to talk to her.”

After Mass, the stranger asked her mother why she was there. The widow told the stranger about her husband’s death, and the stranger said, “Let’s walk over to his grave and pray together for your husband, for God’s mercy, and for you.”

“She prayed the nicest prayer with my mother and really brought her a lot of comfort,” my friend said.

The next time her mother visited the gravesite, the stranger was again at her husband’s grave, praying.

And it happened again a few weeks later.

“Why would this woman, who didn’t even know my mother or my father, spend time to pray for him and for our family?” my friend asked. “My mother says she is her new guardian angel.”

Why would anyone give of themselves in this way? Love for a perfect stranger.

Would you? Would I?

As we grow in our understanding of stewardship, we learn that prayer is one of the first steps in our life of Christian stewardship. It costs nothing but time to focus our thoughts on the power and glory of God and to give of ourselves out of love. When we leave Mass, we are blessed and commanded to go to love and serve the Lord.

The woman at the cemetery is my idea of a loving, faithful, generous Christian steward. She demonstrated perfectly “a disciple’s response.”

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Lesle Knop

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