A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
NOTES FROM DEACON PAREJA
November 16, 2019
Giving and Receiving
November 10, 2018
Even in the time of Jesus with us on this earth, there was a treasury at the synagogue and Jesus sat with them and witnessed people coming forward to contribute; the rich and wealthy, in fact, gave large sums, but Jesus called his disciples to come to him that he might once again teach. He pointed out that the rich, even though giving large sums, gave only of their surplus, the poor widow gave two coins; all that she had. Jesus held up the woman who gave of her livelihood; all that she could give.
What kind of givers are we? Which of the two givers presented in the story would I most align myself with? Do I give only of my excess; perhaps what is in my pocket on a given day or some amount after I have met all my own needs, whether necessities or desires? Do I discern in a real way what I am able to contribute from my wealth, whatever it might be, so that others might be cared for?
Do I intentionally decide what I or my family can contribute to the Church to ensure that the work of the Church can continue?
Jesus was teaching that real giving calls us to sacrifice; we actually give up something, perhaps going without, that we might share generously of our wealth for good causes. As I write this, I want you to know that I am fully aware that many among us are generous givers and some giving from a very limited source. That in itself is sacrifice. What is important, I believe, is that we discern honestly what we can gift to others, not only our parish; it may be a charity that is close to your heart, it may be to research for finding a cure, it may be assisting a child with their college tuition or buying groceries for an elderly neighbor.
No one need that we contribute to, can be deemed more important than another and we dare not sit in judgement of what others give or not. We simply need to go to God, asking him to open our eyes and our hearts to discern what he is calling us to. To be sure, there are times in all of our lives that we simply cannot afford to give monetarily because of life circumstance and responsibilities. If that is the case, consider what you might give in time and talent. Often, the giving our time to another, or sharing a talent that is used to help them is more beneficial than gifting money and we know by our shared faith that God knows of the intention of our hearts.
Let us all take time to reflect honestly about where we are at in giving to the “treasury”, that is, in giving so that our brothers and sisters are lifted and cared for. What is God calling each of us to consider upon hearing today’s Gospel proclaimed? And in our discernment, we might also reflect on how we might give generously in response to the abundant blessings we have received from God.