The Office of Stewardship
“How worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and divinity, and wisdom and strength and honor. To him belong glory and power for ever and ever.”
Entrance Antiphon, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
This coming Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. We end the liturgical year with a reminder that Jesus is, indeed, the King of the Universe. He desires to be King of our hearts and our lives as well. When Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925, he shared his conviction that the “manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics.” This feast, then, offers an opportunity to ponder how Jesus is King in our own lives; how we serve Him at work, at home and at school. The principles of Stewardship can offer us practical ways to acknowledge Jesus’ kingship in all of these areas of our lives.
Additionally, in our Stewardship vision, we are challenged, not only to acknowledge Jesus’ reign, but also to make this kingship visible to others. One of the characteristics of a dedicated disciple is one who is “willing to make their faith visible, to share it with others and to witness inside and outside the parish.” (Characteristics of a Stewardship Parish)
There are many voices in our society who would encourage us to instead confine our faith practice entirely to the private sphere. And so it is refreshing when we find, in the secular media, an example of those who live their faith well in the public square.
Al Kresta, a Catholic news commentator, brought an example to my attention last week when he shared a bit of a press conference given by Nick Foles, quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mr. Foles suffered a collarbone injury. When the reporter says that he knows Mr. Foles is a man of faith and asks him if he doubts God when he suffers a setback like this, the quarterback responds, “When I felt this thing [collarbone] break and I was going into the locker room, I just realized, ‘God, this wasn’t exactly what I was thinking when I came to Jacksonville,'”
He goes on to say, “When you come here, you want to create a culture and impact people. But at the end of the day, as I got this — this is the journey You want me to go on, I’m going to glorify You in every action, good or bad. . .I still can have joy in an injury.” (watch the entire clip below)
If we look, we can see inspiring examples of people of faith who are living their discipleship in such a way that it is both visible to others and respectful of others who might not share their belief. They have integrated their faith in Jesus into their lives outside of just Sunday. Rather than “thrust Jesus Christ and His holy law out of their lives” as Pope Pius warns, they have chosen instead to live lives rooted in their identity as citizens of the Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, to allow their faith to shape their decisions and actions, and also to witness to the ways He is at work in their lives. I am inspired by their example to continue to share the Good News of how God continues to work in my own life.
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