Giving: A Message from Fr. Fink
In the Bible, St. Paul, quoting Jesus, says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) Jesus, we know, praises a poor widow for her generosity to the temple treasury. (Luke 21:2-4) Throughout the Bible the virtue of tithing is encouraged and the practice of offering first fruits extolled. Frank Sheed, a great Catholic writer of the twentieth century, said that Christians could be defined by their willingness to give and forgive.
It’s between you and God what you give, of course, but God definitely wants you, for your sake not for His, to be a giver. The Church, as the living body of Christ and as a world-wide organization, must give too, and it does. On the parish level, there are all the Masses, confessions, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals, anointing, sick-calls; there’s the counseling, religious education, and outreach to the poor and needy.
On the diocesan level there are hospitals, schools, drug and alcohol rehab programs, senior housing projects, and numerous works of Catholic Charities, all of which are supported by your giving.
Here at Our Lady of the Snow, we, like you, have lots of bills to pay. To carry on our work, we have to heat, light, air-condition, maintain, and insure four buildings. We have a dozen women and men on staff, not counting two full-time priests, all of whom must be paid, most of whom receive healthcare benefits. Without your generosity, all our work would come to a halt.
So how much should you give? Only what you reasonably can, but consider what you pay to fill up your car’s gas tank just once, or what it costs to eat out, or just to buy coffee and a donut or a hamburger and fries. We do these things unthinkingly and pay whatever is asked.
The Church asks no specific amount of us, and so, again probably unthinkingly, many people drop a dollar or two, or five or ten, in the collection basket, even though they may spend several times that going to breakfast later in the morning. Giving to the Church should not be done unthinkingly.
One of the reasons we encourage the use of envelopes is that it promotes thoughtful giving. You prepare the envelope for the basket before going to Mass or mailing it in, as opposed to quickly reaching for your wallet or purse as the collection basket comes around.
Giving to your parish (and the wider Church, which is supported largely through parish donations) is a way of saying what Jesus and His Church mean to you, what importance you attach to them. Give it some thought; be as generous as you can. We need your help. We need it badly! Thank you so much. May God bless and keep you always.