By Dianne Loux
My brother-in-law, Philip Weber, recently shared an article with me entitled “Honoring Near Occasions of Grace.” I had never heard that phrase before. I’ve heard of “avoiding near occasions of sin,” but not “honoring near occasions of grace.” The article was about the spiritual aspect of the ministry of stewardship and honoring those “near occasions of grace.”
For example, when someone calls to assist in one of the ministries we signed up for in our Stewardship Commitment Form, and we say “yes,” we are honoring that grace and it is no longer a “near occasion of grace,” it is instead grace fulfilled and treasure stored for us in heaven.
If we decline the offer, or do not follow through on our commitment, it remains a “near occasion of grace.” In other words, if we ignore the grace God offered us to help us say yes, then the grace never reaches us.
For many, stewardship comes naturally. I was raised to pitch in when the need arose. You say “yes” if you possibly can. I also think I say “yes” many times because I actually enjoy the activities and tasks to be done, and sharing in fellowship with others in my parish and community.
For me, this is what makes my stewardship a service of joy. Not just because someone thanks you, but because I believe these acts of stewardship are indeed pleasing to our Lord.
God has given each of us unique talents and abilities. Ask God to help you pick out opportunities you know you possess the ability to perform and enjoy doing. In doing so, you will be honoring those “near occasions of grace” and I think you will find as I have, that stewardship truly is a service of joy.
Loux is a member of Christ the King Parish in Wichita.