For the 5 Sundays of Lent and Passion Sunday, the Everyday Stewardship reflection will look at each of the 6 characteristics of an Everyday Steward, as contained in the book of the same name. Check back each Thursday on the Main Thing Blog for that Sunday’s reflection.
4th Sunday of Lent – 2016
I read an article in Esquire magazine about graciousness. The article began, “Graciousness looks easy, but of course it is not. Do not mistake mere manners for graciousness. Manners are rules. Helpful, yes. But graciousness reflects a state of being; it emanates from your inventory of self.” I think that any mature disciple of Jesus Christ should reflect a high level of graciousness in their life. It lends evidence to the joy of the Lord that resides in their heart and the grace that fills their being.
Being gracious is a characteristic of an Everyday Steward. Even in the ordinary circumstances of the day, good stewards display a giving demeanor that makes others take notice. When graciousness really makes a difference is when it is displayed instead of anger, resentment, or ridicule. No story explains this more powerfully than the parable of the lost or prodigal son.
In Jesus’ parable, the father has every reason to share with his son his hurt and dissatisfaction upon his returning home after he wasted his inheritance and disgraced his family. Instead, his gracious response is overwhelming, so much so that the other son who has remained faithful becomes disgruntled. A gracious steward gives without asking why or care for the cost. And with grace comes mercy, not human justice. With true justice, we would all suffer. But with mercy, comes love and the chance to begin again.
By developing graciousness in our lives, we become instruments of grace for the world around us. We provide glimpses of heaven and the love of the Father for his sons and daughters. And the feasts we prepare for those here on earth, give them a taste of the heavenly banquet that awaits when we finally come home.
Quote from “How to be Gracious and Why.” Esquire. May 2013.