Part II on the theme of treasure
Homily for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time “Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus.” Isn’t that a perfect line to begin our reflection for this Sunday? We can really elaborate on that for a while. As promised last week we continue on the theme of treasure and reviewing our reflection we pondered how our time with the Lord and our talents can be seen as our true treasure. Last week was also Catechetical Sunday where the theme for the year was “teaching about God’s gift of forgiveness” as I stated how the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the other Sacraments are treasures in the Church. So our true treasure is so much more than our monetary contributions. Yet monetary contributions are necessary. As you rely on your paycheck we rely on your generosity to assist us in being able to provide education programs, spiritual enrichment, and practically speaking like everyone to pay our bills. No one likes to talk about money. Trust me; I will be the first to admit I don’t. Why are we afraid to talk about money? Why are we afraid of a piece of paper? Jesus Himself often talked about money. He even did so in last week’s Gospel. Why would our Lord and Savior focus on money? Quoting from Mathew Kelly’s book Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic he writes “so much of our hopes, fears, security, and identity can be affected by money, and so we tend to be on high alert around the subject.” Isn’t that the truth, especially today in light of our current economic situation! Quoting again from the book, “money has a way of getting ahold of us, and from there it can control us in ways that are so subtle that we are often not even aware of it at the time.” Yes money can affect our decision making process especially in times such as these; however there is a little phrase that is printed on the back of our currency that serves as a reminder for how we should all live. You know the phrase…“In God we trust!” So when it comes to sharing our treasure…our time, our talents, and our monetary gifts we must follow the principal of trusting in God. Now I am going to take a practical moment in the liturgy and it is my hope that you will see the spiritual benefit of it…the offertory. You know that time when the ushers come up the isle extending baskets. Did you know that was one of the most profound moments in the liturgy? You reach into your pockets, pull out your envelope or loose cash and place it into the basket. That moment provides an opportunity for you to offer something of yourself to the Lord. In my labor of love letter to the parish I asked members who are not contributing regularly to consider offering the parish $7.00 a week. That is one dollar a day for each day of the week, so that would be $365.00 dollars a year and I asked for $135.00 for the Lenten Appeal bringing the total yearly contribution to $500.00. Another way of contributing is through tithing and tithing is giving one-tenth of one’s income to the Lord through the Church. Tithing is another way to express our generosity to the Church. Now some might not be able to contribute one-tenth of their income now but might still be interested in tithing, so here’s a consideration just raise your income just a little bit (maybe 1 percent) each year to build yourself up to that point. So if you are considering tithing you don’t have to make drastic changes, just move slowly and build yourself up to that point. A question that often comes up can I pay biweekly or once a month. The answer is of course you can, because some do get paid differently. However, I would encourage you to use envelopes weekly. If you feel uncomfortable putting in an empty envelope please feel free to write on it that you pay monthly or if you like you can just throw some spare change in it…we won’t complain. Now I know some choose not use them, however I will still make my plug for them because they are very beneficial to me. Everyone knows my name, you see me up front here week after week. It’s easy for 3,000 people to know one name, but it is extremely difficult for this one individual to know all 3,000 names. While it is certainly not a perfect method using envelopes or at least checks do help me especially when you come to seek a form to be a Godparent for baptism or sponsor for confirmation that requires my signature. One of the requirements is that you attend Church regularly and that helps me especially when I don’t know everyone by name. Again not a perfect method but again it is a help…and for those who know me already know I need all the help I can get! Finally keep this in mind, you can’t take it with you. Please consider Saint Patrick Church in your last will and testament. I know families like to make sure they are taking care of the needs of their loved ones but please consider making a gift to the Church. This past year we have benefited from the generosity of individuals who have entered into eternal life, in fact if it wasn’t for these bequests we would have had to take a loan with the diocese because we would not have made our budget. I would not have been able to start the safety and security project or pay for the repairs and upgrades to the boiler as mentioned in the bulletin this week. Any gift no matter how big or small helps benefit our parish and its ministry. Brothers and sisters I conclude my reflection my asking you to consider sharing your treasure…your time, your talents, and your monetary treasure with the Lord through the Church. May the Lord continue to bless you and your families! Don’t be afraid to put your trust in the Lord for it is in God we trust.