If you have a copy of Everyday Stewardship: Reflections for the Journey you may have come across this reflection on page 98 and you were prepared for today’s feast, The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. See the practical applications of this book. 🙂 If you do have a copy, the piece is reprinted here for your consumption.
Catholics who attend daily Mass come across interesting feasts all the time: unknown saints and martyrs, various titles for Jesus and Our Lady, the Chair of St. Peter. One of the most interesting feasts you might encounter is the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica each November. Many probably ask, “A feast for the dedication of a building?” This is not just any building. It is the first church built after the legalization of Christianity by Constantine in the fourth century. It some ways, it held the font through which a baptismal revolution changed the world.
Good stewards cherish that which has been handed down to them through the ages. My pastor once likened stewardship to being in an antique store. When you purchase an antique you take responsibility not only for that material possession, but for all the memories of lives it has touched through the generations. You can almost feel the presence of the one who made the item, as well as those who possessed it and used it before you. Now it is yours to care for, and if it is truly of value, you will probably pass it on years later to the next steward.
What we create with God and what we take care of in this material world helps provide meaning in our lives. The picture you’re a child, who is now an adult, drew when he was five rests comfortably in your hope chest. The book given to you by a friend on your birthday stands at attention on the bookshelf. The souvenir you bought on that once-in-a-lifetime trip reminds you of that special time as you sit daily at your desk. Yes, it is true, all these material things, just like the Lateran Basilica, will some day pass away when Christ returns. But what these things represent will live on forever.
As good stewards, we see the value of what is unseen as well as that which is seen. Take good care of all those things entrusted to you. They are important tools on the journey, to remind us what is important and where we are going.