The Need to Give

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Father Bryan Pedersen

This weekend we are presented with Jesus’ master parable on Stewardship. Three different servants are given various talents. (In Jesus’ time, a talent was a unit of measurement and value for weighing out silver and/or gold. According to the google search engine “some authorities say that the talent typically weighed about 33 kg (75 lb.) varying from 20 to 40 kg. As I write this the international price of gold on November 15, 2017 was about US $1,305.05 per troy ounce. One gram costs about $41.96. At this price, a talent (33 kg) would be worth about $1.385 million today.” That is a lot of responsibility indeed. Of course, we have expanded our understanding of the “biblical talent” to include all the various gift’s that God has given us.

Each one of us has been created in the image and likeness of God. We have been given the gift of life, and placed in this corner of the world at this particular time to tend and cultivate all that God has given us. One of the most important aspects of being human is recognizing “the nuptial character of reality.” By this phrase we mean that in order to thrive and flourish, in order to be happy, the human person must make a gift of himself, or herself to others. We are made to give. If we only receive but do not give we can not be like God. That we need to give follows the very nature of God as creator and provident Father of all. God did not create out of necessity. God does not need anything that He has made. As the one of the common prefaces of the Eucharistic prayer puts it so well, “For, although you have no need of our praise, yet our thanksgiving is itself your gift , since our praises add nothing to your greatness but profit us for salvation”

Created then in His image in likeness we need to give or we will not be happy, nor live out the purpose God gives us. There are so many ways to give of oneself. Recognizing then that we are all called to be Stewards of the many gifts given us by God we remember that a Steward is someone who:

  • Receives God’s gifts gratefully.
  • Cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner.
  • Shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord.

One aspect of this Stewardship is what we give back to the Lord to support the work of His church, and to sustain the mission and ministries we as Catholics are called to live out in our local community. Over the course of the next six weeks we will be focusing on our regular offertory in many ways. With the redemption phase of our last capital campaign coming to a close many of us will no longer have dual commitments in supporting the mission and ministries of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and School. Now is the right time for us to focus on our regular offertory which is the main source of revenue for the many ministries that play such an important part of so many lives. Next weekend I will be asking all in attendance at Mass to make a renewed and increased commitment to our regular giving through a special process. As our national observance of Thanksgiving draws ever nearer I pray you will reflect on the meaning of stewardship in your life, and focus on the many ministries we accomplish together.