Exercising Stewardship of God’s Gifts in the New Year

January is traditionally the time for New Year’s resolutions. It’s an ideal time to take stock, reassess and recommit to a life lived for and in Jesus Christ. Here are a few suggestions for the important areas of our faith life:

Stewardship of Prayer: Nothing is more important than cultivating a closer, deeper relationship with God. Make a new commitment to a time each day to listen to God’s voice.

Stewardship of Family: How often in our busy lives does time with family get neglected? Resolve to find a special time with each family member each week. Make sure that family meals are celebrated frequently. Plan a special family outing once or twice a month, and go to Mass together. Resolve that when your spouse or child speak, you will look at them and truly listen.


Although there is nothing in the Bible or notable in Christian tradition about New Year’s resolutions, many good stewards take advantage of this time of year to become closer to the Lord.


Stewardship of Health: Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Without good health, we lack the energy to serve the Lord well. Resolve to make that doctor or dentist appointment. Make one healthy change in your eating habits. Add a few minutes of extra exercise to each day’s routine.

Stewardship of Possessions: Want less. Live more simply. Do you own your possessions, or do they own you? Challenge yourself to sacrifice something you like but that you know another person needs more than you.

Stewardship of the Parish Family: Offer your service to the liturgy or a ministry of your parish in the New Year. Enrich your parish and your parish experience by becoming involved.

Stewardship of Money: Take charge of your budget and your checkbook. Reprioritize your financial goals to ensure that the Lord is coming first in the expenditure of your wealth. Plan your spending and don’t spend reactively or impulsively.

Stewardship of Work: Do your best at your chosen profession. Be honest and faithful. Resolve to find a class or other forum that will strengthen your knowledge and expertise. Bring a prayerful attitude to your job.

Stewardship of Mind: Resolve to read something regularly that enhances your faith life. Resolve to learn more about your faith and especially Catholic social teaching.

Stewardship of Neighbor: Be aware of those around you, whether it be your co-workers, fellow parishioners, neighbors, restaurant workers or store employees. Everyone needs a smile and Christian kindness.

Stewardship of the Poor: Resolve to interact with the poor in some specific way this year. Resolve to choose a time and place to minister to the poor in some way. Bring them into your prayer life as well.

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