Last week I spent four days backpacking in the Big Horns with Fr. Adam Hofer and 10 young adults from our diocese. The Big Horns radiate with the majestic power and glory of God’s creation.  The lakes, the switchbacks of the mountains, and the wildflowers carpeting the landscape of the steep and rugged terrain that often took my breath away.

It is much easier easy to see the beauty of God’s creation backpacking in the Big Horns, than to see God’s same beauty in my family, in my brothers and sisters, in my neighbors and the stranger in my midst. Why is that?

In my reflection since I returned, I was drawn to revisit the Bishops Pastoral letter on Stewardship, in particular chapter 3 “Living as a Steward.” There are several lines in this chapter that reminded me of my Big Horns experience.

 “God wishes human beings to be his collaborators in the work of creation, redemption, and sanctification; and such collaboration involves stewardship in its most profound sense. We exercise stewardship, furthermore, not merely by our own power but by the power of the Spirit of truth, whom Jesus promises to his followers.”(cf. John 14:16-17)

“Everyone has some natural responsibilities for a portion of the world and an obligation in caring for it to acknowledge God’s dominion.”

To be faithful stewards we must become more aware of God’s deepest desire for us, to be His collaborators in the work of creation, redemption and sanctification, which takes great responsibility on our parts.

It’s interesting as we were backpacking out I reminded everyone that we needed to carry out our human waste, in which began to hear the low murmuring of voices among the troops such as: “Sorry, my backpack is already full. No room in back either.  I didn’t use the poop bags while was up here.”

The challenge to be a faithful steward is a willingness to collaborate in God’s creation which calls for a sacrifice on our part to look beyond ourselves and to see the beauty of everything God has made including our brothers and sisters, our neighbors and even the stranger in our midst.

Fr. Mark’s Musings

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