How do you “steward” (take care of) your resources? To use Wall Street terminology, in what ways do you “manage your wealth?” Do you financially support people or organizations outside your immediate family (e.g., parish, missions, food banks, environmental groups, outreaches to anyone)? But your “wealth” is more than finances. Do you give of your time to the family, the community, or to “causes” that reflect gospel values? Are you self-centered or other-centered?
How “hospitable” are you to people (hospitality being a really key quality in the old and new testaments)? Are you warm in your welcome of others, or are you distant, stand-offish, or just not particularly friendly toward others? Again, the self-centered versus other-centered idea is at the heart of this Christian trait. Is your mentality “it’s everyone for him/herself” or “God helps those who help themselves?”
To what extent do you “partner” with your marriage PARTNER? Or family? Are you the sort of person whose relationship to others is one of “it’s my way or the highway?” Are you someone who isolates yourself from the community (or family) and who doesn’t think of how together you can work for the common good? In making decisions, are you a “what’s in it for me” sort of person, or are you a team-player?
In offering the above reflection, I’ve tried to narrow the distance between our respective life-paths—and indicate that all Christians are called to a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience (or call them what you will, e.g., stewardship, hospitality, partnership). Each of us is supposed to live as incarnations of the Man in the gospels.
If you were asked to re-name the vows, what 3 traits do you think can be drawn from the life of Jesus—and internalized by us today? Each member of the family might do some introspection and look at ourselves and our families and reflect on how we’re doing with stewardship, hospitality, and partnership.