Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. God the Father gives himself completely, which generates God the Son. God the Son gives back again, which creates the Holy Spirit. The Father, Son and Spirit are One in a community of life and love. One God, Three Persons = Trinity.
They decided to keep on giving, so they created the universe and all things. Then they created human beings. We are made in God’s image and likeness. This means we can receive God’s gift. And what should we do, should we hold on to it? No, we should give back again, just like God does.
Let me apply this in a practical way. Here is my wallet. Now how much should Father put into the collection today: $5? $10? All of it? You decide.
This is precisely what we do when we give. Everything belongs to God. He has entrusted us with gifts and treasures to use them for His glory. We are using His things; we are spending God’s money. This is what we call Stewardship. A steward uses things that belong to the Master.
Christians give generously for 3 reasons:
- In Thanksgiving. By giving away a portion of our things, we recognize that everything is a gift.
- Invitation. When we are generous, we make room for God to be even more generous to us.
- Trust. Recognizing that we too belong to God, we trust that He who gave in the first place will supply all our needs.
For these reasons, beginning July 1, our parish itself will start giving 5% of its income. For every dollar you donate to the parish, 5 cents will go to needy charities. We say that we are grateful for all God’s gifts and we trust that He will provide our needs. It’s time we put our money where our mouth is.
(19 Jun 2011)
I really did do this at Mass and it was completely unpredictable. At Saturday night Mass, I had $38 in my wallet, and the volunteer decided that Father should give 38 dollars in the collection. But he must have felt guilty, because after the collection he held up his wallet and showed me that he had put in all his own money too, more than 60 dollars! He then invited me to dinner after Mass, but someone else picked up the tab for us — we both benefited from his generosity!
Before the early Mass I stopped at an ATM because I was afraid I would run out of money. It looked like an expensive weekend! The volunteer again at the early Mass put in all my money. Afterwards, people said, “Here Father, have some breakfast on us…” I walked away with $82!
At the middle Mass, the volunteer put in $10. The last volunteer chose only $5. Nothing special happened. Amazingly, when the volunteer put in all my money, something unexpected and amazing would happen, and I would come out ahead. Giving is surprisingly beneficial for the giver.