Time: Another important aspect of Stewardship

01-27-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

In my previous article, I discussed prayer as an essential aspect of Stewardship. I emphasized the need to put prayer, especially the Eucharist, at the center of our activity recognizing that we are creations of a loving God (our Father) who gives Himself freely for us in the Eucharist; that all we are and all we have are gifts from Him. He entrusts these gifts to us for use, not only for ourselves but to help others to gain eternal life. Prayer also helps us build a personal relationship with God. For this relationship to exist and grow however, we need to give TIME for prayers.

Now, it is a known fact that we live in a world that is dominated by a time-based focus. Time was created for us in this world to regulate our daily activities and live an ordered life. We wear watches that tell us when to get up, when to eat meals, when to go to work, when to relax, when to go to bed, and so forth. Clocks are now everywhere on our wrists, on our cellphones and even on our microwaves and ovens. It seems that everything in our lives depends on time. What we give our time most to however, defines what is really important to us. Unfortunately, in our practical lives, many times we fail to see time as God’s gift to us as such, instead of giving God most of our time, we are consumed most by the cares of this world. We end up wasting this precious irreplaceable resource He has given us, at the expense of our own eternity. Of the 24 hours God has given us, how many hours, or minutes, do we give back to God in prayer and other spiritual activities? I would venture to guess that we normally give the minimum, to the point that for instance, when Mass exceeds an hour, we often either complain or leave early. Yet, when we go out to a movie or watch a football game, we rarely complain about the time spent at all. So, as a Good Steward, how much of the 24 hours do we give for communicating with God either through attending Mass or in Adoration or in volunteering?

Communication is important in any relationship, with our families, our friends, our parishioners as I pointed out in my last article. Therefore, if we want our personal relationship with God to flourish, we must ensure that we give ample time to develop and continue our communication with Him. Whereas it is important for us to pray to God in church and in other religious group settings, we must also have our one-on-one time with God. Silent and contemplative prayer can be a means of enriching our personal relationship with God.

It is during this time that we can thank Him for all that He has done and does for us. Personal prayer time can be the time when we ask him for our needs. It can be when we silently listen to what God wants to tell us, individually. He might not answer our requests right away; if our petition is good for us, He will grant our request in His time.

For this time to be fruitful, we need to eliminate distractions that take our focus away from what we are trying to accomplish spiritually. Find a quiet time and place to have this conversation, for even a few minutes every day. Any amount of time we give back to God is welcomed and pleasing to Him and will be abundantly rewarded. It is beneficial for our relationship and will foster good growth. If you feel that time is an issue, begin small and work your way up to more substantial time in prayer, such as in Adoration.

Remember too, that as Good Stewards, we are required to give not only of our talents and treasure but also our time to volunteer work through the various ministries that our parish has. All of us can offer our time to do something for our parish if we really choose to. Soon we are going to offer you that opportunity through our Census and Ministry Fair. Please, be generous with your time.

Continued greetings from Uganda and see you soon!

I love you!