Feast of St. Charles Borromeo
The Challenge of Stewardship
Today’s Gospel from Luke recounts Jesus’ parable regarding 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 his 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 as “…children of the light…”
St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians 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, were held up as a prime 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…
On this early November day, we also thank God for the person of St. Charles Borromeo. He was a gifted and zealous steward of the 16th Century, credited for helping reform and build up the Church in a variety of ways.
As Bishop and Cardinal, Charles Borromeo encouraged the intellectual and moral growth of clergy and religious, especially by forming new seminaries. He helped author the catechism called for during the Council of Trent; he started the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) for children’s growth in their faith. He held special meetings in his home diocese of Milan, seeking to incorporate the message of the Council of Trent. He reached out to the poor and needy of his day, sacrificing wealth, honor, and influence to serve them – personally ministering to the sick, the hungry, and the dying. Truly a gifted and zealous man who gave God his all during the 46 years of his life!
The Good News challenges us today: zealously follow the words and deeds of Jesus; live as faith-filled, active stewards of God’s many gifts; learn from Sts. Paul and Charles Borromeo to share your gifts with the Church today, especially those most in need. The “value” of such stewardship: priceless…for ourselves and our world!!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. serves as the Province Vocation Director and also as Local Superior of the Passionist Community of Holy Name in Houston, Texas.