1 Cor 4,1-5
People should think of us as Christ’s servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God. In such a matter, what is expected of stewards is that each one should be found trustworthy. It is of no importance to me how you or any other human court may judge me: I will not even be the judge of my own self. It is true that my conscience does not reproach me, but that is not enough to justify me: it is the Lord who is my judge. For that reason, do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes; he will bring to light everything that is hidden in darkness and reveal the designs of all hearts. Then everyone will receive from God the appropriate commendation.
What wisdom we encounter in the few words of the apostle, which have great inner effects when we let them penetrate deeper into us!
First of all, as Christians we are servants and stewards of the mysteries of God!
A servant is concerned that the glory be given to his Lord and not that praise remain with his own person! He always steps back and clears the way for the glorification of God and acts in the right humility! It is then humility that makes him aware of whether he remains in the spirit of service or inadmissibly allows his own interests (so-called coexistences) to flow in! With Paul we can perceive this attitude, because he is always concerned that the Lord is recognised and not about his own person! “No servant is greater than his master”, Jesus teaches us! (Jn 13,16).
The fidelity of a steward consists in carrying out everything he does in a spirit of responsibility before his Lord! The good God entrusted to him is infinitely great; he must guard it and at the same time multiply it!
We guard the treasure entrusted to us, carefully following the path of holiness and protecting the sanctuary of our soul and the body as the “temple of the Holy Spirit”! (cf. 1 Cor 6,19). After all, these are among the first treasures that God has entrusted to us with life!
All gifts received are to be used faithfully for the praise of God and for service to mankind! The proclamation of the gospel has above all a special value and is to be brought to people.
For us people of the Church, this word also means to be faithful to the Church’s teaching, to receive the great treasure of the sacraments in the right way, and to cultivate so many wonderful riches of the Catholic Church that future generations may also receive them!
One more word of this text is worthy of further attention and of drawing the consequences!
God is the judge, he calls to account in the time he has set aside!
This is a very important fact, because it is not the people who can pass final judgement on us, but God alone! This also has to do with the fact that we cannot fully know the hearts of other people! Perhaps it is possible to get a little insight into the heart of another person and also into our own; but this will always be limited! God alone will reveal the intentions of the hearts! Therefore, although we can and must judge the deeds according to their objective reality, we cannot and must not, for example, determine the guilt or only very imperfectly!
It is a very comforting word, especially when we grow in the knowledge that we stand with our lives before a merciful and just Father who wants to forgive and strengthen us! The trust in him, which is the fruit of love and at the same time makes love grow, will strengthen us all the more in the spirit of service and in the responsibility for the gifts received! The awareness that God alone is our last judge can dissolve the fear of man in us and our freedom grows to fulfil our task on earth!