By Erin Dwyer
We are human, and in our humanness we are gifted with reason and the ability to discern good from bad, right from wrong. As baptized Christians, we are given a new dimension of humanity, the knowledge that all people are created in the image and likeness of God and as followers of Christ, a desire to seek a life of holiness, a life lived as Jesus lived. But how do we do that in the modern day?
So often in our society, we find ourselves comparing our own lives with the lives of others. In a sense, we create a division between who we are and others, or at least, who others appear to be. Take a quick look on social media and you will find families with picture perfect lives, marriages full of love and romance, political parties with all the right answers, and a freedom to express oneself as openly as one chooses, with little to no repercussions. Is that the way to holiness? Would Jesus have been the poster child of social media? Not likely.
Jesus is our model of Stewardship as he came not to call us to compare ourselves to others, or to hold oneself to an unattainable standard, but rather he came to show us a new way of life. He came to show us what love is truly about, what generosity means, and how to find joy from within. Jesus teaches us that despite the worldly affairs, turmoil, divisions, illness, and sin that divide us; love binds us. Being a good steward means committing oneself to a life of gratitude for the here and now, for all that we have and even all that we don’t. It is sometimes hard to accept that we are right where God wants us, but there are lessons to learn in every season of our lives.
When we think of the word “Stewardship” we likely think money. But the true Stewardship Way of Life is a life of gratitude. A life of gratitude is one without comparisons. A life of gratitude is a life of holiness. This February, as we listen to the Gospel of Matthew, may we be moved by the Beatitudes to find joy in each day, to step away from the sources that divide us, and embrace the one true source that unites us.
My name is Erin Dwyer. I am the new Coordinator of Annual Giving and Stewardship in the Office of Mission Advancement. I’m a proud Mom of two children, Luke (12) and Lydia (8), who will be attending Holy Angels Academy next year. It is my pleasure to serve the faithful of the Archdiocese of Louisville and support parishes in their stewardship efforts, as well as the Catholic Services Appeal.