"A steward is a true disciple and believes that all gifts come from God. A true
steward understands there is a need to return these gifts to the Lord. Scripture tells us,
"The gifts you have received, give as a gifts." Matthew 10:8. Stewardship is a
faith challenge. It invites us to go beyond what society expects and advance to what Jesus
expects. This means sacrifice. Stewards are sacrificial givers of their time, talents,
THE CALL TO STEWARDSHIP
Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ leads naturally to the practice of stewardship.
These linked realities, discipleship and stewardship, then make us the fabric of a
Christian life in which each day is lived in an intimate, personal relationship with the
This Christ-centered way of living has its beginning in baptism, the sacrament of
faith. As Vatican II remarks, all Christians are "bound to show forth, by the example
of their lives and by the witness of their speech," that new life of faith which
begins in baptism and is strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit in confirmation (Ad
Gentes, 11). Faith joins individuals and the community of Jesus' followers in
intimacy with their Lord and leads them to live as his disciples. Union with Christ gives
rise to a sense of solidarity and common cause between the disciples and the Lord and also
among the disciples themselves.
Refracted through the prisms of countless individual vocations, this way of life
embodies and expresses the one mission of Christ: to do God's will, to proclaim the
good news of salvation, to heal the afflicted, to care for one's sisters and
brothers, to give life life to the full as Jesus did.
Following Jesus is the work of a lifetime. At every step forward, one is challenged to
go further in accepting and loving God's will. Being a disciple is not just something
else to do, alongside many other things suitable for Christians, it is a total way of life
and requires continuing conversion.
Stewardship plays an important role in the lives of people who seek to follow Christ.
In particular, as we have said, Christians must be stewards of their personal vocations,
for it is these that show how, according to the circumstances of their individual lives,
God wants them to cherish and serve a broad range of interests and concerns: life and
health, along with their own intellectual and spiritual well being and that of others;
material goods and resources; the natural environment; the cultural heritage of humankind
indeed, the whole rich panoply of human goods, both those already realized and
those whose realization depends upon the present generation of upon generations yet to
come. Catholics have a duty, too, to be stewards of their Church: that community of
disciples, that Body of Christ, of which they, individually and together, are the members,
and in which "if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is
honored, all the parts share its joy" (1 Corinthians 12:26).
Stewardship: A Disciple's Response, A Pastoral Letter on Stewardship. NCCB, USCCB