One of the Scripture readings for last week (Luke 2:20-21, 40-52) portrays Jesus’ separation from His parents and when asked, He simply says “Didn’t you know I’d be about My Father’s business?”
It is our business! No matter what our career choice is, we must also take responsibility for His business. This is our Stewardship – using our Time, Talents and Treasures to do God’s work. What does this mean? Matthew 25: 31-46 describes our responsibility as Stewards. Simply, we must look out for and help those in need, those around us in our neighborhood, at work or at school. This is His Father’s business! Let’s get to work!
You should know that in the world to come also you will be judged in the lot of those with whom in this life you have been affected by sharing in their gain or loss, or joy or sorrow.
St. John Cassian
I thought about this from a business perspective… when my associate does well, do I congratulate him?- when my co-worker receives a promotion, do I extend my sincere appreciation for her accomplishments? – when my manager runs into a challenge, do I offer my assistance?… all, at times, very difficult to do however, Stewardship extends to daily interaction in all aspects of our life. Make a difference today!
Many times, I think about St. Theophan’s reflection on the Ten lepers and simply, remembering to say “Thank You” – thank you to God for the blessings received each and every day. When we talk about Time, Talents and Treasures, consider all of the ways you can impact your Stewardship by extending a simple thank you – to God, your Bishop, your Priest, your family, your neighbors… God blesses us with many opportunities daily!
Ten lepers were healed, but only one came to thank the Lord. Isn’t there generally a similar proportion of people who are grateful after receiving benefactions from the Lord? Who has not received good things; or, rather, what do we have in us, or what ever happens to us that is not good for us? Even so, is everyone grateful to God, and does everyone give thanks for everything? There are even those who permit themselves to ask, “Why did God give us existence? It would be better for us not to exist.” God gave you existence so that you would be in eternal bliss; He gave you existence as a gift, as a gift He has furnished you with every means for attaining eternal bliss. The job depends on you: you need only to labour a bit for this. You say, “But I have only sorrows, poverty, diseases, misfortunes.” Well, these are also some of the ways to attain eternal bliss. Be patient. Your entire life is less than a moment compared with eternity. Even if you had to suffer unceasingly your entire life, against eternity it is nothing; and you still have moments of consolation. Do not look at the present, but at what is prepared for you in the future, and concern yourself with making yourself worthy of that; then you will not notice the sorrows. They will all be swallowed up by unquestioning hope in eternal consolations, and your lips will never cease to utter thanks.
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To the man who asked how to be saved, the Lord on his part offered a question: What is written in the law? how readest thou? By this He showed that to resolve all perplexity one must turn to the word of God. And so that there will not be such perplexity at all it is best to always read Divine Scripture attentively, with discernment and sympathy, applying it to your own life, and fulfilling in your own thoughts what relates to thoughts, in your own feelings and dispositions what relates to the senses, and in your deeds what relates to deeds. One who hearkens to the word of God gathers bright understanding of all that is in him, what is near to him, and what is above him; he clarifies his obligations in all aspects of life, and holy rules, like valuable pearls, are strung onto the thread of his conscience, which then precisely and definitely indicate how and when to act so that he please the Lord. He tames the passions—something reading the word of God always acts to assuage. No matter what passion troubles you, begin to read the word of God and the passion will become quieter and quieter, and at last it will be entirely calmed. He who enriches himself through knowledge of the word of God is overshadowed by the pillar of cloud which guided the Israelites in the desert.
St. Theophan the Recluse
You have seen, O lawyer, and it has been proved by the parable, that it is of no avail whatsoever to any man, to be set up by empty names, and to pride himself upon unmeaning and ridiculous titles, so long as the excellence of deeds does not accompany them. For the dignity of the priesthood is unavailing to its owners, and equally so is the being called learned in the law, to those who are so reputed, unless they excel also in deeds. For lo! a crown of love is being twined for him who loves his neighbor: and he proves to be a Samaritan.
St. Cyril of Alexandria