Hard times make us aware of our priorities. Hopefully, two groups that really matter to us are our family and our parish. Fortunately, much of the time, we do not find ourselves in a crisis situation in regard to either of these groups. From time to time, hard times do come up in our family and in our parish. Challenging situations help us to see where our priorities lie.
Experience indicates that we make room in our lives for that which really matters. We do this for our family and for our parish in regard to how we spend our time and our money. For example, if someone in our family was in a life-threatening situation, we would normally drop what we are doing to come to the aid of the hurting person. First and foremost, we would offer our presence. Just being there for a suffering person can make a world of difference to and for that individual. If we are not able to alleviate the pain of the one who is suffering ourselves, we arrange to bring that person to those who can help.
Besides supporting the members of our families with our time, we do this with our financial means as well. We work hard to provide for the needs of those who are entrusted to us in distinctive ways.
By the Lord’s design, our families are the most basic unit of the Church, that community in and through which we are related to the Lord. We cannot make a divisive distinction between our relationship with the Lord and our relationship with the Church. If we are right with the Lord, we will be right with the Church or working in that direction. The Lord’s care for us as members of the Universal Church becomes more personalized as this is offered to us through our Diocese and through the parish to which we belong. All Catholic persons are strongly urged to register in a particular parish. It is in our parish that we are nourished by the preaching and teaching of the Gospel and are strengthened in our faith-life as we celebrate the Sacraments.
A vibrant faith community, namely our Parish, calls for our on-going participation in the following two ways: with our time and with our money. If our parish is to remain faithful to what the Lord wants us to do, each of us needs to pray about and then get involved as the Lord leads us to do this. As we are willing to develop in this way, we can experience our parish as a vibrant, caring faith community.
As an extension of God’s Presence in Jesus, the Church lives in the real world. As one of us, our Lord needed goods and services which could be purchased with money. This is also true of His Body, the Church. If our Parishes are to continue to do the Lord’s work in a healthy manner, our respective faith communities need financial resources to do this. On our part, as members of St. Mary or of Resurrection Parishes, hopefully our financial giving to our home parish expresses a response of sacrificial gratitude to the Lord for all that we receive. As we each will to make this happen and respond with our financial means as the Lord leads us to do this, we will not have money problems in our parishes. As parish communities, we will be able to continue to witness to the Good News of God’s redeeming love in Jesus in a proactive manner.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor