Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Give When You Have Nothing Left

Living paycheck to paycheck is draining, stressful and reeks of poor financial planning. When Sunday Mass rolls around and the money baskets are passed, who are we thinking of when we place the check or cash within? Are we thinking of Jesus, how He died for our sins, and the price He paid?  Or, are we thinking about the brunch after Mass we will have to pay for? The cell phone bill due next week? The lattes you drink on your way to work every morning? Next time you contribute $4 for a latte at Starbucks, think about how that $4 times the number of visits to your favorite coffee shop can add up. Then, pass on the expensive coffee and add it to your church fund. Depending on how much you consume, all of the sudden you are contributing more in the right direction. The more you give Him of yourself, your time and your money, the more graces and blessings shower you on earth. I've seen it happen with my very eyes. Give for Him and He will provide exactly what you need.   

In this very short Gospel reading (Luke 21:1-4) from 26Nov2012, Jesus shows us His love and mercy for those who think of Him first:

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood."

In Anne a lay apostle's book Lessons in Love, she gives us a healthy perspective on stewardship from any financial climate we find ourselves:

"Families proceeding from a solid Christian identity will be careful about their views of material possessions. If a family has been given or allowed great wealth, that family will be alert to keep possessions in their proper perspective, meaning emphasize people, not things, and teach their children good stewardship. The word “wealth” is highly subjective of course. The poorest family can perceive themselves as wealthy if they compare “down” to those who have less. The wealthiest family can feel bitter if they compare “up” to those who have more. A healthy attitude for any family will be to promote an outpouring of gratitude to God for whatever blessings they have been given—material, spiritual or relational. A positive approach to our faith will teach our children to flow out from Christ generously."

Lay apostles, what can you do to contribute more to your church? Take note of everything you spend money on in a given week.  Discover what is necessity and what is for pleasure. What changes can you make to add more to your gift giving on Sunday? Every little bit helps.  He is worth everything and more. Give when you have nothing left.  It won't go unnoticed. He sees everything.

Thank you, Lord, for showing me the importance of the widow's contribution in the Gospel. I will continue to look for ways to contribute more and be co-responsible for the growth of our beautiful Church!

God bless,

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