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Chapter 34. Tenth Commandment: Embrace Poverty of Spirit • 451

Disciples as Stewards

Let us begin with being a disciple—a follower of our Lord Jesus

Christ. As members of the Church, Jesus calls us to be disciples.

This has astonishing implications:

• Mature disciples make a conscious decision to follow Jesus,

no matter what the cost.

• Christian disciples experience conversion—life-shaping

changes of mind and heart—and commit themselves to

the Lord.

• Christian stewards respond in a particular way to the call to

be a disciple. Stewardship has the power to shape and mold

our understanding of our lives and the way in which we

live. Jesus’ disciples, as Christian stewards, recognize God

as the origin of life, the giver of freedom, and the source of

all things. We are grateful for the gifts we have received and

are eager to use them to show our love for God and for one

another. We look to the life and teaching of Jesus for guid-

ance in living as Christian stewards.

Stewards of Creation

The Bible contains a profound message about the stewardship

of material creation: God created the world, but entrusts it

to human beings. Caring for and cultivating the world involves

the following:

• Joyful appreciation for the God-given beauty and wonder of


• Protection and preservation of the environment, which is

the stewardship of ecological concern;

• Respect for human life—shielding life from threat and

assault and doing everything that can be done to enhance

this gift and make life flourish;

• Development of this world through noble human effort—

physical labor, the trades and professions, the arts and sci-

ences. We call such effort “work.”

Work is a fulfilling human vocation. The Second Vatican

Council points out that, through work, we build up not only our