Stewardship: A Way of Life

Stewardship: A Way of Life

Sharing:  Time Talent  Treasure

CROSSES

We are all aware of the Cross of Jesus. And especially during the Lenten period, we are made aware through continuous readings of these horrors that Jesus suffered for us for all times.  And we all have been taught that we too must bear our crosses when we follow Jesus. But our crosses are also not confined to just the 40 days of Lent. We carry them in various degrees all through our lives. And these crosses are not all the same in us at all times. The weight of each cross is individual and not  of the same intensity in each of us. And no one of us is able to judge the weight of another’s cross. What may seem as hardly worth paying attention to in another, may be very difficult for that person. We have been warned by Jesus to ‘not judge another.’  If we have been blessed, another may help us carry our cross, whatever that may be at the time.  And our obligation as followers of Jesus is to help another carry his or her cross whenever we are aware of it. Our crosses may be physical, emotional, financial, health related, personal relationships, and many more. No one can predict the future. Only our Lord knows of the future and what it holds for us. And only He is able to assist us in the most positive way  to lighten our load, if we pray to Him and share our need for help.

“Everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be My disciple.”  (Luke 14:33) . This reading presents us with a cross which is impossible.  Right???  We can’t live without our ‘things’.  And the more we have, the more guilt that we possess.  Guilt is a cross.  How could Jesus present us with this  impossible demand?  And how would we live without our possessions?  This cross is easily born, if we accept that all  we have are gifts from God.  Everything in Creation belongs to God and we are only His children in whom He has entrusted to care for it all.  All of our resources are given to us for our use.  But not just for us to use.  No one of God’s children is more entitled than another.  But inequality exists in our gifts. And so the sharing of these gifts makes us truly disciples of our Lord.  And remember the other parable about how small the gate is to get through to join our Lord in eternity? Crosses can be born alone or with another or with our God.  How we define our cross and how decide to carry it is an individual issue.  But if we remember that we are just passing through this world and we have no baggage that belongs to us alone, we may thank God for our crosses and with His help to lighten the load enjoy the weight and find that sharing all the gifts that God has given us are just that—-gifts. And no gift is given that should not be opened. It would be an insult to the giver not to open it.

By Kathy Reilly