Day 30 – Identity and Mandates of A Steward




Yesterday we learned from the Catechism of the Catholic Church the definition of the virtue of justice: Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbour (CCC 1807). This is a concept that not many people are aware of or consciously practicing. The lack of this mentality leads to all sorts of conflicts among individuals and groups who are trying to protect and fight for their own interests. Conflict resolution requires us to wear a different lens, on top of the ability to put ourselves in other people's shoes. The concept of giving to God and others their due is more important and powerful than what most of us might think.

The Catechism continues to state that "Justice towards men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good." (CCC 1807) The focus here is on the common good versus individual interests; respecting the rights of others rather than focusing only on our own rights. And the result is the establishment in human relationships the HARMONY that promotes EQUITY and the COMMON GOOD. It is a paradigm shift to say the least. The inability of our society to maintain harmony is due to the lack of this noble insight. The result is the breakdown of human relationships and rapport that are paramount in sustaining the "human ecosystem" for continuous growth and development. And this is happening all over the world!

Ironically, as we strive for economic development, our society is now more torn, polarized and divided as it has ever been. Accusations, divisions, wars, revenges and violence have become the new norm of the current very tragic human condition. And we have become desensitized to this trend. Sadly, we are all contributing directly and indirectly to this self-destructing pandemic!

What instead are we called to do? What should be our role? We should see ourselves as "stewards", and not "owners". We are the stewards of this world and all the things that are entrusted to us. We are to distribute these resources which are given freely to us to those in need. That is the "equity" and true fairness we should promote!

This equity leads to rapport and solidarity among human beings. If we do not share with others what is rightfully theirs, to give their due to our neighbours, we are actually robbing them of their properties. At the end, when Jesus comes again, we will need to prepare a full account of our stewardship (Luke 16:2).

The Catechism tells us that "The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor."

(CCC 1807)

This is a wake-up call for all of us Christians not to be misled by Satan to engage or indulge ourselves in all sorts of accusations, laying blames on others, and judging and condemning others in the light of protecting our own ideologies and rights.

At the end of the day, what really matters most is human relationship. It is the UNITY and COMMUNION that our Lord calls us to aim for even here on earth.

Let us not focus on our differences but our shared humanity and universal virtues. Let us reflect on our true identity as stewards and do away with the owner mentality. Let us be prepared to give a full account of our stewardship before Christ.

"If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?"

(Luke 16:12)


Do you identify yourself as the owner or steward of what is given to you by God? What is the evidence that supports your claim?

In what ways are you depriving others of what are due to them?

Are you engaged directly and indirectly in activities that have brought about divisions and conflicts among people?


Dear Abba Father, how narrow-minded and selfish I have been when I only saw myself as the sole owner of Your gifts and graces. I cannot bear to reflect on the numerous occasions that I have deprived others of what were due to them! It is painful for me to even think about it now. Restore to me the joy of receiving Your providence and Your call to be a steward, and sustain in me a constant and firm will to give their due to my neighbours. To You, Lord, I desire to give You what is rightfully Yours, as my humble offering to You.

I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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Sincerely invite you to share the reflections that inspires you by this day's retreat.