Part of our Christian obligation is to support the work of the Church. In times past, it wasn’t necessary to remind the faithful of this obligation, they knew it and did their part. In today’s world, things are different. The Church competes with our consumer society for the means to keep their doors open in order to continue the wonderful ministry and outreach that has been the Church’s hallmark. Currently, here at St. Rita’s, we have the added responsibility of paying off our debt to the Archdiocese from the first phase of our building campaign.
These are certainly challenges to me and to us, or they should be. If you are not being challenged to stretch yourself to give to the work of the Church and to give to the building campaign, you ought to be. In today’s Gospel we hear the story of the poor widow who “put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury, for she gave from her poverty all she had.” This widow offered a gift and gave it with tremendous generosity.
The poor widow exemplifies what it is to give from the heart. Instead of donating a reasonable percentage of her money or estimating how she will make ends meet in the future she gives it all away. In so doing she empties herself into complete reliance on God. By holding nothing back she shows us the meaning of love.
Now, I am not asking you to give everything, but I believe it is part of my responsibility to stretch you in giving. God has blessed us in so many ways, part of which is a pretty comfortable lifestyle here in the United States. We have an abundance of luxuries (cell phones, computers, cable TV, etc.), and these aren’t bad until they affect our ability to support the work of the Church. We are all called to stretch a little more, to give a little more and to share our blessings. I pray you open yourself up to the God who gave everything for us on the cross – and open yourself a little more to supporting the Church. God gave us this world, He gave us His Son, He continues to give to us. Are we, who are created in His image and likeness, growing more as persons of giving? On this Stewardship Sunday, may the poor widow from today’s Gospel remind us to give more generously to the Lord. Peace.