Today’s gospel ushers in a new era for all Christians.
We are, like Christ, forever to be baptized into our faith. It is an invitation to be part of the Church. Like all invitations, we choose to prioritize that participation or not. We either choose to be part of the mission of the Church or not.
Stewardship is a conversion process that should be engaged in by all baptized Christians. It is a lifestyle based on prayer and the continuing recognition of how we are blessed by God in our lives. Like Christ after his baptism, there is a moment when stewardship calls us to commit our lives to God and to live that commitment by becoming personally involved.
Will I be part of the mission of the parish (to prayer, education and service)? Will I be responsible for those brothers and sisters God has entrusted to my care? Is my faith strong enough to commit a portion of time, talent and treasure to this mission (Mass, parish stewardship, special collections)?
Stewardship is a way of life that takes time to live, but it begins with our baptism. Ironically, most of us are baptized as very young children. Most before we can even walk. Then a “step at a time” we approach Christian life and learn why we share resources and gifts.
Through baptism we begin to live out our faith in a warm and caring way. We are flesh as well as spirit as Christ became flesh to the people in his time after baptism. He walked with them, fed them, listened to them, healed them, supported them, and prayed with them. When we think about his personal investment in the mission, it might be easier to understand that baptism invests us to the same mission in the very same way.