Contributors Simply stewardship

Stewardship is being Christ to one another

Simply stewardship
Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at: lesleknop@archkck.org.

by Lesle Knop

Most of us remember where we were on 9/11.

On that unforgettable morning, my husband and I were in the car when one of the kids called to tell us to turn on the radio.

“A plane just flew into the World Trade Center!”

We were heading to the doctor’s office where we soon heard cries of disbelief as doctors, nurses, receptionists, technicians and patients learned of the tragedy. 

A few days earlier, I had crashed my motorcycle near Leadville, Colorado. A helicopter flew me to a hospital in Denver, and then friends flew me home in their small plane to stay below 10,000 feet. Over the next several weeks as I recuperated from my injuries, I was a captive audience of the 24/7 news reports.

I think everyone can remember the American spirit that overflowed from every corner of this country. We prayed for the souls of those killed, their mourning families and the thousands of people who worked tirelessly in service during the aftermath of the tragedy.

One of my sisters lent me a VHS tape (remember those?) of the biography of Mother Teresa, now St. Teresa of Calcutta, to watch instead of the news. I’ve been thinking about her life again in recent weeks.

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you,” she said.

If you understand stewardship as a way that Jesus works in our world, then discipleship becomes a way of life. We learn to cultivate and share our gifts at every opportunity.

Jesus reminds us of what can be done by those who believe in him and follow him: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father” (Jn 14:12).

How can you and I do greater works than Jesus? Mother Teresa showed us that we can be Christ to a world that needs him and respond to Christ in each other.

Stewardship is a way Jesus works in the world. If you believe this, then you know that through our actions, great and small, God can touch people and change their lives.

Today, the date of this publication (Sept. 11, 2020), is the 19th anniversary of the coordinated terrorist attacks that resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths. We are now in the midst of a different kind of global tragedy, a pandemic that has already claimed many thousands of lives in the United States alone.

The many small acts of kindness I have observed among my colleagues at the chancery, and by my family and friends, are evidence of Christ’s presence in our midst.

The yearning that others have expressed to me to pray more and to once again attend Mass, remind me of the joy I experienced nearly 20 years ago when I was able, once again, to return to Mass and to receive the holy Eucharist.

Stewardship, my friends, is a disciple’s response.

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Lesle Knop

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