Stewardship: A Way of Life

Stewardship: A Way of Life

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It seems that the shorter the sentence, the fewer words that Jesus uses, the greater the impact these words have in our lives and should have in our behaviors. These words come from last week’s Gospel about the good Samaritan. The Samaritans and the Jews despised each other. And yet, it was a good Samaritan who stopped and cared for the injured man left on the road, when others had passed by, looked at him bleeding, and left him to die. And ‘who is my neighbor?’ This we have just been asked in another Gospel reading.

These Jesus’ parables are particularly relevant today with all that is going on in this country and around the world. War is against anything that people believe in or wish to have happen, especially near where ones lives. And yet all around the world in many countries young people have grown up in their home land knowing nothing but   living in a war torn situation. Obviously defending one’s self and one’s home land when others come forth to challenge you is a necessary evil. But no one in any way desires a war that goes on for years/decades and just  surviving becomes a way of life. Unable to tolerate the horrors all around the world that are being committed, good people have finally left their homes and all that is dear to them and tried to find a safe place in which they can live, love, and be safe.  Most leave with little more than what they can carry on their backs. Without exception these fleeing people are entering almost every country in the world seeking refuge. To most countries the numbers of homeless people arriving and trying to find a new home have been overwhelming. What to do.  “Who is my neighbor?”

This world wide problem has no easy answer. And what if part of the answer involves me and it affects my way of life? Most world leaders are struggling to find this answer. And most are trying. If one looks closely, many people, not necessarily those in power, are offering help: churches offering to take families in and finding housing, food, and jobs; governments setting aside some housing; individuals offering a family help; agencies setting up to welcome displaced people; companies offering to do what they can; and etc. These are individually small answers but could develop into something much larger with nationwide recognition, planning, organization, and assistance. The definition of neighbor as defined by our God does not leave anyone of us safely and quietly at home never to speak up or do anything that we can. We can not idly sit by and ignore what is happening in our own little world. WE need to address our local and national leaders and not accept excuses for lack of action to address and solve this problem. Our neighbors are lying on the roads dying and for too long. Would anyone in their right mind want to take their   children and walk a thousand miles or more to seek another country, a different language, knowing no one, just for a change? One very positive note from all this are the immigrants who have spoken up about all the generous people who have fed and clothe them on the way of this journey. “At times my children did not stave! People fed us. They gave us water.”

A river begins with a drop of water. Let us all pray and individually decide what each can do. Pretending that this problem is too difficult or it doesn’t affect me is not an acceptable answer. The good Samaritan gave of his time, his talents and his treasure to help his ‘neighbor’. Stewardship: a way of life. The Samaritan was answering the call to be that good steward. Jesus asked us to be a steward of all His Father, the Creator, gave us. And nothing is more precious to God than each one of us, His children. How can we in any, never mind good conscience, look away, when not one but millions of His children are suffering? Even Mr. Rogers continuously asked “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

by Kathy Reilly