Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Message from a Bulletin

This was part of the Pastor's message found in a bulletin at a church on the East Coast.


Upon consuming the Sacred Host at the Mass, the priest makes a private thanksgiving prayer from some verses of Psalm 115, which begins: “What return shall I make to the Lord,
for all that He has given to me?...” (Psalm 115:12). At the moment the priest is giving
thanks to God for himself, certainly, but he is also anticipating the thanksgiving of the whole assembly and speaking in their name, “What return shall I make to the Lord?...”

The answer is, everything and nothing.

Everything we have, from our mere existence, to whatever natural gifts and attributes we may possess, to whatever material resources we may own, is rightfully God’s. So, we can give Him nothing in return which is not rightfully His.

Clarity on this point is crucial when it comes to the support we are asked to give to the Church. Faithful Catholics are asked to give of their substance, and give generously, for the material needs of the Church.

By definition, it is sacrificial, because it is out of our substance and not just out of any surplus income that we are asked to contribute. By definition it is also a
pure gift which is offered primarily to God, and only secondarily to the parish, the diocese, or whatever branch of the Church’s apostolate.

And since our substance is 100% God’s to begin with, is it not humbling to us that He asks such a modest percentage for His portion in return?...

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