Feast of St. Charles Borromeo
The Challenge of Stewardship
As we continue our journey through our special November commemoration of saintly people, today we thank God for the person of Charles Borromeo. He was a gifted and zealous man of the Church who lived during the 16th Century, credited for helping reform and build up the Church in a variety of ways.
As a bishop and Cardinal, Charles encouraged the intellectual and moral growth of clergy and religious, especially in forming new seminaries. He helped author the catechism that was called for during the Council of Trent; he also started the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) for children’s growth in their faith. He held many special meetings in his home diocese of Milan, seeking to incorporate the message and teachings of the Council of Trent. He reached out to the poor and needy of his day, sacrificing wealth, honor and influence to serve them – even in the challenges of the plagues and famines of his day, ministering to the sick, the hungry, and the dying. Truly a gifted and zealous man who gave God his all during his 46 years of life!
Today’s Gospel from Luke recounts a parable of Jesus about a “resourceful” steward who at first dishonestly squandered his master’s property, but then prudently tried to save face by dealing with his master’s debtors. Though we might first be appalled at his dishonesty, in his moment of crisis he was decisive and acted quickly to prepare for the future. Jesus highlights the steward’s “gifts” and limitations as a human person – and encourages us to be faith-filled and zealous in living out our faith in Him.
St. Paul, in today’s first reading, encourages his followers to imitate his example as a convert-missionary, giving his life to help spread the Good News. Paul’s many gifts, especially his ardent faith, was held up as an example to the many people he touched in his journeys; his last words of today’s scripture selection have encouraged many: “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I Iove and long for, my joy and my crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.” Stand firm in the Lord…
The Good News challenges us today: zealously follow the words and deeds of Jesus; be good, faith-filled and active stewards of God’s many gifts; learn from St. Paul and St. Charles Borromeo to share your gifts with the Church of your day, especially those most in need. The “value” of such an action plan of life: priceless…for both ourselves and our world!! Amen!!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is a member of the Passionist community in Chicago, Illinois.