A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Preaching for money

A common complaint of parishioners (or ex-parishioners) is that the pastor was allegedly always asking for money.

Sometimes the Pastor is just clumsy in his asking. Rarely is there serious inappropriateness. Sometimes the complaint says more about the complainer.

Money is necessary to create and maintain the facilities used by the faithful. It is also necessary for charitable and missionary activities.

The giving of money is also a way in which we express ourselves, especially a way in which we express generosity and love.

Thus, in today’s first reading (2 Corinthians 8:1-9), Saint Paul is asking the Corinthians to imitate the Macedonians in their generosity in helping the Church in Jerusalem.

So he might say to us, for we are not as generous with our money, talent, and time as we need to be (I myself am terribly lacking in this).

We should heed the words of Saint Paul as well as the example of the Church in Macedonia long ago and the example of so many others since then and today.

We want you to know, brothers and sisters,
of the grace of God
that has been given to the churches of Macedonia,
for in a severe test of affliction,
the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty
overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.

For according to their means, I can testify,
and beyond their means, spontaneously,
they begged us insistently
for the favor of taking part
in the service to the holy ones,
and this, not as we expected,
but they gave themselves first to the Lord
and to us through the will of God,
so that we urged Titus that,
as he had already begun,
he should also complete for you
this gracious act also.

Now as you excel in every respect,
in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness,
and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.

I say this not by way of command,
but to test the genuineness of your love
by your concern for others.

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that for your sake he became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.