My one little word for 2014 is stewardship. Before choosing the word, I shared my hopes and goals with Joel and explained why I thought that word was a good fit. We even chatted about other words that might better define what it is I’m striving for this year. But as we discussed and drilled down, stewardship just made sense and seemed to describe my goals.
Then I started to see others share their word of the year. And because it’s what I do, I started to doubt mine. I’m a first-class second-guesser. But let’s be honest. Stewardship isn’t exactly the most exotic, pretty, or romantic word, is it? Others are choosing words like surrender, thrive, forward, embrace, grace, and namaste (had to look that one up). And then there’s stewardship. Not a word you see on pretty Pinterest photos. Just search “one little word” in Pinterest to see what I mean.
But then came the second reading last Sunday at Mass when we heard the teachings of Saint Paul to the members of the Church at Ephesus. “Brothers and sisters: You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit…” (Ephesians 3:2-3A, 5-6).
On a day when the Church was all about celebrating the magi and their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (I was too, of course), I was especially excited to receive that nudge from the Holy Spirit. Time to stop second-guessing and bring this word to life. I feel certain there’s something here with this word that the Holy Spirit wants me to explore. And so I shall do just that this year.
January is traditionally the time to make New Year’s resolutions. For Christians, it’s also an ideal time to “take stock, reassess, and recommit to a life lived for and in Jesus Christ.” Let’s take advantage of this time of year to become closer to the Lord. While exploring this one little word of mine, I found the following stewardship prayer for the New Year from the International Catholic Stewardship Council. Pray it with me?
Stewardship Prayer for the New YearLord of new life, Thank you for the gift of a new year. You have entrusted us with the coming days,
weeks and months as stewards of your divine plan;
to live in gratitude, joy,
and an ever growing confidence in your Kingdom to come. We ask for the humility
to reform our lives;
the courage to commit ourselves to you no matter the cost;
and the wisdom
to shine the light of faith
on others. Open our hearts, give us your Spirit and show us how to share your love so that we may bring hope to a world in need of your justice and peace. We pray to be a sign of your grace in this new year through your son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.