Simply stewardship

Column: Beginning the year with a firm resolve

Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at:

Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at:

by Lesle Knop

I am usually bustling about like Martha when I should stop and listen more like Mary.

Most of my New Year’s resolutions have been broken by the second or third week of January.  This year, however, with God’s grace, I hope to change. I am the steward of all I have been given; thus, caring for my gifts, nurturing them, tending and growing them, and returning them with increase to the Lord is my responsibility.

I have decided that if I focus more on my spiritual life, as my pastor reminded me on Jan. 1 in his homily during the Mass celebrating the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, then perhaps all my other goals will fall into place.

Like Mary, sister of Martha, I resolve to spend more time listening and responding to the Word, opening my heart to hear more carefully what God is saying to me. Like Martha, I would like to be more organized, more generous with my gifts, less selfish and self-centered. All these things will fall into place if I get my spiritual life in order first.

During these few weeks of the active phase of the annual Archbishop’s Call to Share, the office of stewardship and development works very hard, along with our parishes’ staffs and volunteers, to help raise needed funds for the more than 42 ministries that are funded by the annual appeal. Because our staff is so close to the process, we sometimes forget that it is God’s grace alone that leads the people of the archdiocese to be so generous to help meet the many needs of the church and its people.

Humility, then, is another area in my life that is in need of improvement. Our busy professional staff cannot take credit for the outcome of the appeal any more than we can take credit for the dynamic faithfulness found in our parishes. We merely communicate the need, but it is God who leads people to hear, understand and respond.

It’s good to remember the examples from both Mary and Martha. Mary contemplates with prayer and devotion. Martha helps others. God leads us and strengthens our hands to serve him and others.

Like Martha, I hope that we can better serve Christ faithfully by helping our brothers and sisters to learn how to share their gifts in support of the many programs and ministries funded by Call to Share.

Like Mary, I hope that our devotion to Jesus will help us to grow in his love and grace — and to give all the glory to God.

About the author

Lesle Knop

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