Stop for a moment. Take a look around you. What do you see that you can describe as sacred? You may first see obvious things such as a bible, a favorite rosary that was blessed, the inside of a church. What about the sacred you encounter every day of your life that may not immediately strike you as being sacred? What about nature, the rhythm of your day, the fruits of your labors, the person who is standing next to you?
The ancient and traditional notion of the sacred was tied up with the notion of blessing, but not as we generally understand the concept. In ancient Hebrew times something was blessed and made holy when one acknowledged to God that he had provided it as his most purposeful and personal gift. Thus, one praised and blessed God for this gift. When the rain was not just some natural phenomenon, but God’s watering of the earth to make it fruitful, then it became holy for the steward of the harvest.
But if one took things and people for granted and simply thought of them as random objects or events that occurred in the course of time with no personal affection or concern associated with them, then they were considered profane, unblessed.
Stewardship gives us a lifetime of ongoing insight into the awe-inspiring gifts that God has given to us, the people, the things, the events in our lives. What is sacred is what we have come to discover as God’s gift. We have a lifetime of blessing not when we receive new things, but when we notice that they have been there all the time. Good stewards constantly thank God for these gifts and bless themselves for receiving them. Now, look around again and thank God for the precious bounty he has laid before you.
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