“Dearest lord, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost.” — Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), Jesuit founder
Scripture Text: (1 COR 4:6B-15)
Brothers and sisters:
Learn from myself and Apollos not to go beyond what is written,
so that none of you will be inflated with pride
in favor of one person over against another.
Who confers distinction upon you?
What do you possess that you have not received?
But if you have received it,
why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?
You are already satisfied; you have already grown rich;
you have become kings without us!
Indeed, I wish that you had become kings,
so that we also might become kings with you.
For as I see it, God has exhibited us Apostles as the last of all,
like people sentenced to death,
since we have become a spectacle to the world,
to angels and men alike.
We are fools on Christ’s account, but you are wise in Christ;
we are weak, but you are strong;
you are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty,
we are poorly clad and roughly treated,
we wander about homeless and we toil, working with our own hands.
When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;
when slandered, we respond gently.
We have become like the world’s rubbish, the scum of all,
to this very moment.
I am writing you this not to shame you,
but to admonish you as my beloved children.
Even if you should have countless guides to Christ,
yet you do not have many fathers,
for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.
In today’s First Reading from Mass St. Paul preaches on the topic of stewardship, noting that everything in our life is a “given”. But if this is so, he rhetorically asks the Corinthians, why are they “boasting as if [they] did not receive it?” In fact, the “givenness” of our lives and everything in them calls for humility from us.
Our call to Stewardship encourages us to share our GIFTEDNESS. Our special talents and abilities, things that we feel passionate about, things that might be used to describe our personalities, such as being compassionate, hospitable, organized, having patience or wisdom are all part of our unique giftedness. Our gifts are given to be used in service to our families, for those around us, for those in need and for our many ministries within the Church.
Each of us has received grace and a unique set of gifts from God.
Remember – Those who have been given much, much will be expected.