In progress 11/21/21
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
~ Matthew 6:21
Why do we share our TREASURE?
Our money and possessions— our treasure are gifts from God that we are asked to care for and generously share. It is important to share our money and material possessions for two reasons: first, because all the good things that God made, including money, are meant to be shared; and second, because each of us needs to give. We need to give our money to individuals and families in need, to the Church, and other worthwhile charitable organizations because giving money is good for the soul and because we need to return thanks to a loving God for our many blessings.
GRATITUDE is the fundamental reason to GIVE
“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything he has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” ~ Thomas Merton
Though new for many Catholics, stewardship is based on a biblical view of God as Creator and ourselves as servants. From this perspective, we are encouraged to develop or renew the practice of regularly reflecting on God’s love for us and the goodness of our lives. With a sure sense of our blessings in mind, we are encouraged to make GRATITUDE the fundamental motive for our giving. The Bible also reminds us that as servants we are accountable to God for the use of our gifts of time, talent, and treasure — this is STEWARDSHIP.
The need to GIVE is indisputable
While our parish has many particular needs for which funds must be raised, we must continue to reflect on the fact that stewardship is different from fundraising. Stewardship is rooted in one indisputable need – the need to give. Our gratitude can so easily become a matter of words only unless we are returning to the Lord, the giver of all gifts, a truly grateful share of our time, talent, and treasure.
When Jesus saw the widow putting her “two pennies” in the Temple treasury, He told His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living” (Mk. 12:43-44). And that is what God expects from us.
How do I set a Stewardship of Treasure GOAL?
We often hear the Biblical reference that tithing consists of 10% of our income. Certainly, that is the ultimate goal and a wonderful one.
Realistically, most of us start below that and keep trying to increase our giving little by little. All are encouraged to give proportionately to our income and our blessings and to move up to and beyond 10%. The most important point is to SET A GOAL and WORK TOWARD IT.
Suggested stewardship formula for 10% of treasure:
5% to parish offertory (through online giving or physically at Mass)
1% to the Diocese through Special Collections
4% to other organizations & charities
PERSPECTIVE: First Fruits vs. What do I have left to give?
Five percent may seem like a large allocation; however, we must remember, our parish is a community that helps carry out Christ’s mission. Plan your gift— for Sacrificial Giving from your first fruits.
Consider giving 1 hour of your wage a week. In that same way you can consider giving one hour of your talent each week or 1 hour of prayer, or spiritual reading, listening to a podcast from a religious leader or watching a video that helps you learn more about the faith.
Divine Mercy Parish supports over 30 ministries that provide outreach to the needy and help bring people closer to God— this is where you would give one hour of your talent each week.
A portion of the money collected at our church is given again, as we are a tithing parish, donating to many charitable causes. Our church provides a space and support for praying, receiving sacraments, evangelizing, spiritual learning, catechesis, ministering to others and gathering in community. All of this requires payment of the same kind of expenses that a home or business incurs— mortgage, insurance, utilities, maintenance, and the like. It requires paying for the expertise of lay leaders who run the day-to-day operations of the church and the priests who celebrate the sacraments with us so that together we can carry out the mission of the CHURCH— sharing the Good News and helping our brothers and sisters in need.