April 17, 2015

Catholic Education Outreach / Gina Fleming

We are called to serve as God’s instruments in building his kingdom

“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”

These words were once spoken by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and remind us of our role as Christian stewards. Our bishops explain that stewards are disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ who consciously decide to follow him no matter what. In a sense, we are called to be the “little pencils” or “writing utensils” with which God can continue his love letter to the world.

As the source of all goodness, the Creator of life, God simply invites us into relationship with him. There is no better way to show our love and appreciation for the gifts with which we have been blessed—including one another—than to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, and to serve joyfully knowing that “all things work for good for those who love God” (Rom 8:28).

The work of Christian stewards throughout central and southern Indiana is seen as a partnership with God—a collaborative endeavor in which he is the artist, and we are entrusted to serve as the tools used to create and develop masterpieces.

As Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin reminds us, “We are called to respond in love to God who loved us first.” This collaborative response can be seen in the wonderful work of our parish councils, boards and commissions.

We observe this collective spirit when planning festivals, fundraisers and social events. We witness it through the spiritual development opportunities that are provided through our Church ministries—retreats, book studies and other pastoral initiatives. How blessed we are to experience these joyful encounters with our Father in heaven, and to serve as “pencils” in God’s drafting of his beautiful love letter to the world.

Such stewardship does not come without its struggles. We often busy ourselves with daily expectations at work, and with tasks and chores at home. We can become complacent as we look around and see that there are many others who can serve in our place.

Yet Jesus calls each of us by name to join him in the building of God’s kingdom. Through his grace, our hands, hearts and minds can be used to honor and glorify him. When we remain open to God’s call to service, the struggles are simply heightened opportunities to be guided by the palm of his writing hand.

On behalf of all of us in the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education, thank you to each and every individual who has said “yes” to God’s call as Christian stewards.

God has entrusted us to work collectively with him and one another, and by saying “yes,” our Catholic Church is stronger and more equipped to spread God’s love through Catholic education in our schools, faith formation, youth ministry and young adult/college campus ministries.

As God’s utensils in the beautiful masterpiece that only he can create, we shall come to know him more deeply, love him more fully, and serve him completely.

(Gina Fleming is superintendent of Catholic schools for the archdiocese.)

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