A WORD FROM THE PASTOR
Check Your Heart’s Investments
A prosperous farmer was miserly in what he gave to his Church, so his pastor went to visit him with the hope of getting him to increase his donation. The pastor pointed out to him that the Lord had given him a fertile piece of land and had blessed him with sunshine and rain so that his crops would grow. The priest added, “You know, this farm and everything you have is really on loan to you from God. You should be more grateful.” The farmer replied, “I don’t mean to complain, Father, but you should have seen what a mess this place was when God was running it by himself!”
When Jesus says, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's," Jesus is asking us whether we have invested our heart in the right place, in something worthy of our life's blood, something that will yield a return that's worthy of a whole human life. There is only one way to find out where our hearts are.
Let us check our daily choices, the little ones as well the big ones, and look for the patterns: On what do we decide to spend our prime time and our best energies? These are the infallible indicators of what we truly value and what we don't. Whose image do others see when they look at our life? When people see us, do they see Jesus engraved upon us? To the extent that they do, that's the extent to which we belong to the Kingdom of God.
Since everything is God’s, we must give ourselves to him 100%, not just 10% on Sundays or less than that. We should be generous in fulfilling our Sunday obligations and find time every day for prayer and worship in the family, for the reading of the Bible and the proper training of our children in faith and morals. St. Augustine teaches that when we truly succeed in "giving to God what is God's," we are "doing justice to God." This requires that we return to God, with dividends, that which God has entrusted to us, remembering that we are mere managers or stewards of God’s gifts.
Our contribution to the parish Church should be an expression of our gratitude to God, giving back to God all that he has given us. This will help us to combat the powerful influence of materialism in our lives and enable the Church to do God’s work. Our cash offerings signify our commitment to the ministries of the Gospel, the activities of the Risen Lord. Every pledge enables and empowers ministry. Every pledge, every dollar, touches a human life and brings it closer to God. Every pledge, every dollar given, is transformed into love for someone else and for ourselves.
Active participation in the various ministries of the parish is the offering to God of our time and talents, yet another way of giving to God his due, our whole self. I continue to invite you to invest your time and charisms for the good of the church parish.