by Lesle Knop
In my work for the church, I do my best to explain why I enjoy my job. I am surrounded by people whose faith and commitment to ministry are nothing short of inspirational. With each passing day, my respect grows for their stewardship of the gifts God has given to them.
I’m sure you know people who are all talk and no action. You won’t find those people among the priests, religious, and lay people serving our church. With their patience, intelligence, musical ability, management skills, and Spirit-filled leadership, or whatever gifts they have been given, they become Christ’s hands and feet doing his work.
We are not exempt from that same call to stewardship. While our gifts may not be as extraordinary, I still believe each of us has a way to serve others.
Being Catholic means that we are entitled to certain privileges through our baptism, as you head in Archbishop Joseph Naumann’s homily that launched this year’s Archbishop’s Call to Share. (You can visit our Web site — www.calltoshare.org — to read the text or listen to an audio file.)
When subjects like Call to Share come up, I hear the question, “Why should I give? I do what I am supposed to do by giving to the parish offertory each week. I give to our school. Why the additional requests? Can’t the archdiocese take care of its own needs?”
I appreciate why the archbishop asks us each year to participate in the ministries of the archdiocese through Call to Share. He creates a moment in time each year for us to reflect upon our lives as Catholics and our relationship to the larger church.
For some of us that is easy, since we directly benefit from these ministries: by participating in marriage prep classes, faith formation sessions, RCIA, pro-life activities, Hispanic ministries or social justice. Others simply assume that these ministries ought to exist, such as the vocations office, which provides resources to help others discern their calling to the priestly or religious life.
We are challenged to include these ministries in our mission as Catholics and to become intellectually, spiritually, and physically involved in the stewardship of our church.
Just as St. Paul on the streets of Jerusalem asked others to support Christ’s church and its mission, the Archbishop’s Call to Share is a tremendous opportunity to give others the opportunity to do something virtuous and noble with their resources.
The people I’ve met who work for the church don’t just talk about their faith. They live it. Their love and adoration for God become visible when they return to the Lord, with increase, a measure of what he has given to them.
Good stewards are the best co-workers.