If you were having a competition for ugly-sounding words then “scrunge” would be a strong contender. What does it mean? I don’t know, but you can tell from its sound that it won’t be anything pleasant. (Actually it doesn’t exist!)
Some words are off-putting. “Stewardship” sounds so stuffy and institutional. It’s the sort of word we give a wide berth to because it sounds rather boring and overly religious. Yet today’s gospel has Christ reminding us that we are all called to exercise stewardship over what God has given us.
It’s easy to talk about global stewardship, about saving the planet for our children and grandchildren. It’s easy because it doesn’t necessarily bite home in our lives. But stewardship is much closer to home than global warming and carbon footprints. It’s about how we use the ordinary things in our life.
How do we use our time? What are our priorities? Is my time mine or am I aware that I am given it to do good with? Am I generous with my time? They say that if you want something doing urgently then ask a busy person. Maybe that’s because people who pack lots into their time are aware of how much needs to be done, whereas the couch potato can never quite “get round to it”. If my time is valuable then do I use most of it on valuable things?
How do I use my talents? God has never made anyone without talents. Are you even aware of what yours are or do you falsely stay in the background pretending not to have gifts and talents that can be put to the service of others? Do you hide your talents or do you make them useful by letting others benefit from them?
How do you use your treasure? And what is your treasure, the thing that really “turns you on”, the thing that you most value in life, that you would give anything to defend and would do anything to possess? Your treasure is what you love most of all in life. God has given everyone treasure in abundance but it’s to be used so that others can have a better quality of life.
Jesus reminds us today that we all have time, talents and treasure. And he tells us that one day we’ll have to account for what we’re doing with them because they’re only on loan. It’s called stewardship.