Stewardship and Integrity
WEDNESDAY: Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Stewardship and Integrity
Stewardship, the author of Wisdom caution us, is divine responsibilities placed upon the shoulders of those chosen by God and the people to deputize in God’s stead. Regardless if we hold the highest or the lowest position that governs the interests of others we are accountable to God. History will not forgive our despotic and autocratic atrocities but compassion and mercy await those who govern in the spirit of the Beatitudes.
In this respect, the Responsorial Psalm challenges us to revisit the saying: “To oppress the poor is to insult his creator; to be kind to the needy is to honour him (Prov.14:31).” Besides, God himself empowers the poor with his own words to articulate their needs in his presence (Ps.81 (82):3-4). However, God in his justice takes no pleasure in the demise of the wicked (Ezek.18:23), he further cautions us to take cognizance of our divine status and to use our divine stewardship to fulfil God’s mission on earth without courting of eternal damnation (Ps.81 (82):6-7).
How does that concept of being gods fit into the Christian context, vision, mission and stewardship in today’s historical, social, political, economic and religious context? In Baptism, we received the same mandate with Christ. God consecrated us as priests, prophets and kings. He empowered us to create a new heaven and a new earth in collaboration with Christ.
In this way, God in Christ made us stewards of righteousness, justice and peace. In the spirit of the Beatitudes, God made us models of moral consciousness and righteousness. We did not receive God’s gifts and grace for our personal enrichment. No! God made us his adopted children to govern the affairs of God and humankind so that the kingdom may come on earth as it is in heaven.
What has this notion of integrity have to do with the ingratitude of the nine lepers in today’s Gospel? The idea of hoarding comes to mind. God expects that those who benefit from his generosity, consolations and solidarity, they must become agents of the same to others who are victims of the historical, social, political and religious structures of our time (2Cor.1:3-7). In other words, with every gift, God blesses us, he makes us stewards of his kingdom and he commissions us to out and imitate him and do just what the Holy Spirit guided him to do (Lk.8:18).
The challenge is ours today. We must recognise we are gods with Christ Jesus. The onus is ours to be just and conscientious stewards as Christ in the world. Why? In the end, we have to give God an account of our stewardship. Accountability is a demonstration and expression of gratitude for the trust placed in us.
Lord, make me ever conscious of my accountability in your present, now and in anticipation of the end of time.