THEN shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. […]
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Mt 25:34-36, 40.
St Cyril of Jerusalem quoted the passage above, from St Matthew’s Gospel, and then went on:
LET the light of thy good works shine before men (Mt 5:16), and let not Christ be blasphemed on thy account.
Wear thou a garment of incorruption, resplendent in good works; and whatever matter thou receivest from God to administer as a steward, administer profitably.
Hast thou been put in trust with riches? Dispense them well.
Hast thou been entrusted with the word of teaching? Be a good steward thereof.
Canst thou attach the souls of the hearers? Do this diligently.
There are many doors of good stewardship. Only let none of us be condemned and cast out; that we may with boldness meet Christ the Everlasting King, who reigns for ever.
For He doth reign for ever, who shall be judge of quick and dead, because for quick and dead He died.
And as Paul says, For to this end Christ both died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living (Rom 14:9).
St Cyril of Jerusalem (+386), “Catechetical Lectures” No. XV §26. Translation from CCEL.
To St Cyril’s list, we could also add the stewardship of children.
GRANT unto us seed of a harvest, so that, having all sufficiency for ourselves, we may abound unto every good work that is also well-pleasing to thee, and see our children’s children like newly planted olive trees all around our table; and that, having been well-pleasing to thee, we may shine like starry lights in heaven, in thee our Lord: to whom belong all glory, might, honour and worship, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.
Adapted from the Office of Crowning (Orthodox marriage service). The only change is that I have altered ‘them’ to ‘us’ etc. throughout. Original Greek at Analogion. See the full service in English at Anastasis.