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A Treasury of Arkansas Writers Discussing the Catholic Faith
Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: October 1, 2022
By Kelli Nugent
St. Edward Church, Texarkana
Our God is the awesome and generous God who created us out of love and gives us everything we have, commencing with the gift of life itself. He appointed us stewards over all the gifts he lavishes upon us and teaches us that we are to use these gifts to care for not only ourselves but for all of humanity, particularly those in need.
While stewardship is a much broader term, we frequently hear it used in terms of generosity with one’s time, talent and treasure. For many of us, we can and do support our parishes financially.
That is truly necessary, and parishes cannot function without the donations of their parishioners. Bills must be paid (utilities, insurance, resources for its ministries, staff salaries, etc.) Our donations are a tangible expression of generosity of the financial gifts God has given us stewardship over.
How generously can I contribute to the life of the parish through the gift of my own time and talents? Imagine how much more each parish could grow the Kingdom of God if every parishioner did make such a commitment.
Let us consider the other two. The call to be generous with our time and talents is equally essential and necessary. The one thing everyone seems to be “short on” is time. We all have such busy lives! Time has become a most protected and valuable commodity.
One only has to consider how many individuals choose to use grocery pick-up. We guard our time by letting someone else shop for us. And there is nothing wrong with this.
While we may freely give our financial resources, are we as generous with our time and talents? When one is asked, “Would you be able to help with this?” for a day or two (preparing for a parish feast day celebration or decorating for a liturgical season), week (helping with a parish mission or vacation bible school), (for example, assisting to make phone calls and being present for parish directory pictures), weekly during the year (such as offering your time to share the faith with young people or adults by teaching), what is the response?
Do we sometimes not want to be bothered with having to give more of ourselves? A common adage of our day is that “we make time to do what is important to us.” How generously can I contribute to the life of the parish through the gift of my own time and talents?
Imagine how much more each parish could grow the Kingdom of God if every parishioner did make such a commitment. Parishes can flourish when they have plenty of volunteers helping to accomplish their apostolic mission of bringing the good news of Jesus to the world.
Indeed some other worthy organizations or ministries would greatly benefit from receiving our time, talent and treasure. The proposal is that Holy Mother Church, from whom we receive the nourishment of body and soul through the Eucharist and the sacraments, be the first place after fulfilling the duties of your vocation and providing for yourself and your family, that you volunteer your time and talents before moving on to the others.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Matthew 6:19- 21)
Lord Jesus, help me to know you are my greatest treasure and, as such, help me to serve all whom you treasure.
Kelli Nugent is director of faith formation at St. Edward Church in Texarkana. She has a bachelor’s degree in theology from St. Gregory University in Shawnee, Okla.