In 2020, we are reminded by our parish priests to choose an area we would like to improve on and start working on it. Let’s begin with a topic that we often take for granted – Stewardship.

Owner VS Stewardship

There are 2 ways to look at things – Owner or Steward. Which is better?


An Owner perceives that one possesses stuff – one’s time, gifts, talents, body, opportunities, people around. Some may even say “I own all of these. God, what have you done for me lately?”

In the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), if we see ourselves as an owner is not as great as it seems.

When we see ourselves as the owner of something, we hold onto it more closely for fear of losing it. When that thing is taken from us, we may become resentful.


A Steward understands that none of the stuff that he/she has belongs to him/her. It has all been entrusted by God to us to care of. “I am alive today. All the gifts and talents are not mine. What do you want me to do with it today?”

We may have been conditioned to think that being a owner is the Dream, however, as the U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship teaches us, being a steward is much better. Read full document here.

To be a Christian Steward

“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pt 4:10).

Our lives are not our own, our talents are not our own, our bodies are not our own, our homes are not our own. Not even our families. God owns all of these things, and we have done nothing to deserve them. God has entrusted them to us. If we see everything we have as a gift from God, we will always have a reason to be thankful.

What identifies a steward?

Disciples as Stewards

Let us begin with being a disciple: a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ. As members of the Church, Jesus calls us to be disciples.

Jesus’ disciples and Christian stewards recognize God as the origin of life, giver of freedom, and source of all things. We are grateful for the gifts we have received and are eager to use them to show our love for God and for one another. We look to the life and teaching of Jesus for guidance in living as Christian stewards.

Stewards of Creation

The Bible contains a profound message about the stewardship of material creation: God created the world, but entrusts it to human beings.

The Second Vatican Council points out that, through work, we build up not only our world but the Kingdom of God, already present among us. Work is a partnership with God—our share in a divine human collaboration in creation. It occupies a central place in our lives as Christian stewards.

Stewards of Vocation

Jesus calls us, as his disciples, to a new way of life—the Christian way of life—of which stewardship is part. But Jesus does not call us as nameless people in a faceless crowd. He calls us individually, by name. Each one of us – clergy, religious, lay person; married, single; adult, child-has a personal vocation. God intends each one of us to play a unique role in carrying out the divine plan.

The challenge, then, is to understand our role – our vocation – and to respond generously to this call from God. Christian vocation entails the practice of stewardship. In addition, Christ calls each of us to be stewards of our personal vocations, which we receive from God.

Stewards of the Church

Stewards of God’s gifts are not passive beneficiaries. We cooperate with God in our own redemption and in the redemption of others. We are also obliged to be stewards of the Church – collaborators and co-operators in continuing the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, which is the Church’s essential mission.

This mission-proclaiming and teaching, serving and sanctifying-is our task. It is the personal responsibility of each one of us as stewards of the Church.

Obstacles to Stewardship

People who want to live as Christian disciples and Christian stewards face serious obstacles.

In many nations, a dominant secular culture often contradicts religious convictions about the meaning of life. This culture frequently encourages us to focus on ourselves and our pleasures.

At times, we can find it far too easy to ignore spiritual realities and to deny religion a role in shaping human and social values. As Catholics who have entered into the mainstream of society and experienced its advantages, many of us also have been adversely influenced by this secular culture. We know what it is to struggle against selfishness and greed, and we realize that it is harder for many today to accept the challenge of being a Christian steward. It is essential, therefore, that we make a special effort to understand the true meaning of stewardship and live accordingly.

A Steward’s Way

The life of a Christian steward models the life of Jesus.

It is challenging and even difficult, in many respects, yet intense joy comes to those who take the risk to live as Christian stewards.

Women and men who seek to live as stewards learn that “all things work for good for those who love God” (Rom 8:28).

After Jesus, we look to Mary as an ideal steward. As the Mother of Christ, she lived her ministry in a spirit of fidelity and service; she responded generously to the call. We must ask ourselves: Do we also wish to be disciples of Jesus Christ and Christian stewards of our world and our Church? Central to our human and Christian vocations, as well as to the unique vocation each one of us receives from God, is that we be good stewards of the gifts we possess. God gives us this divine-human workshop, this world and Church of ours.

The Spirit shows us the way. Stewardship is a part of that journey

By Julianne Danielle Lim

Source & adapted: