Read this week's message from Father Don
I know that Catholics do not like it when priests talk about money. It is worthwhile remembering, however, that Jesus himself referred to money (riches) quite frequently.
Consider the parables: the treasure in a field and the pearl of great price (Mt. 13.44); the lost coin (Lk. 15.8); the laborers in the vineyard; (Mt. 20.1); the servant who would not forgive his fellow servant's debt (Lk 7.41); the ten coins entrusted to the servants (Mt. 25.14); the dishonest steward (Lk. 16.1).
Look at Jesus’ teaching: You cannot serve both God and wealth (Mt. 6.24); The widow’s mite (Lk. 21.1); The rich young man went away sad (Mt. 19.22); Of those to whom much has been given, much will be expected (Lk 12.48); Give generously (Lk. 6.38); Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God (Mk. 2.17).
Jesus knew what people are like and recognized that their spending habits are a good indicator of what is important to them. Those who care deeply about their physical appearance spend a lot of money on clothes. Similarly, those who care deeply about the poor or the work of the Church offer them generous financial support.
The reasons for Christian generosity are numerous but two of the greatest are these:
God created us and continues to provide for our needs. He gave us life, family, talent, and money. Everything we have comes from him as a free gift and was given to be shared.
Through the generous giving of our time, energy, and money we draw closer to Christ who sacrificed everything out of love for us.
How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me? (Ps. 115). Traditionally, people have expressed their gratitude to God by giving away part of what God has given to them, especially giving to the poor and the church (or temple and religious leaders). It was the Jewish practice to give one-tenth of the family harvest as a thanksgiving offering to the Temple. Tithing, i.e., giving a fixed percentage of annual income to the church and the poor, continues to be a good and fair practice through which a person’s financial donation is proportionate to their income.
Whether you wish to commit a percentage of your income to the parish or make some other financial commitment, there will be an opportunity for you to do so at mass on February 11.
Self-giving is an essential aspect of the Christian faith and generous financial support of the church is a basic expression of this.
p.s. Please do not think I am asking you to do something that I do not do myself. Since arriving at All Saints I have donated a significant percentage of my income to the work of the parish.