Throughout the Easter season, our readings have given us glimpses into the life of the newborn Church and the bold witness of the early disciples in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to all who would listen. These disciples were the first to live a stewardship way of life and their example is as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago.
In the First Reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, we catch up with Paul and Barnabas in Antioch. While they certainly have some success in reaching many people there with the message of salvation, others are downright infuriated by their words and send them packing. Yet, we read that “the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” Overall, it seems as if Paul and Barnabas had failed in Antioch. But this seeming failure has not robbed them of their joy. What’s more, they are filled to the brim with the abundant gifts of the Holy Spirit. How is this possible?
It is only possible because Paul and Barnabas saw themselves as nothing more and nothing less than stewards of Christ and His Good News. This realization brought them freedom — to offer themselves and their lives to others for the sake of the Gospel. The “results” of their efforts were up to God.
This Spirit-filled, joy-filled life is available to all of us, all these years later. It can be achieved when we recognize, like Paul and Barnabas, that all we have and all we are is a gift from God, meant to be shared with others for His glory. Of course, living as God’s stewards does not mean a life of ease or a life free of sacrifice. Sometimes the steward’s life involves great challenges, requiring all the strength and love one has to give. But in the end there is simply no more satisfying way to live.
— Source Catholic Stewardship Consultants
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