Making a Return to the Lord

 

“How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me?"  (Psalm 116:12.) 

                                                                  

After such successful renewal weekend, I wanted to say thank you to all parishioners who submitted their commitment cards with great generosity. At times it is important to see why the Church speaks about treasure. It may come as a surprise that while the Bible has about 500 verses on prayer and fewer than 500 verses on faith, there are over 2,300 biblical verses dealing with money and possessions. Without apology, Jesus says more about money and possessions than he does on any other subjects including heaven and hell. Jesus knew the human heart so well. He knew the way money gets hold of our hearts and the way at times we forget the giver of all we possess.

We give to God because He first gave us all we possess. “What do you possess that you have not received? But if you have received it, why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?” (1 Cor 4:7). We have been abundantly blessed by God. Each time we come to Mass on Sunday, we come intentionally to express gratitude to God. Shortly before the consecration, the priest and the congregation exchange a dialogue of thanksgiving. The priest says, “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God”, and we respond, “It is right and just.” The priest continues to pray, “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, Holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.” The Mass is also called Eucharist because it is the highest form of thanksgiving prayer.

Just as the Father sacrifices His Son on the Cross for our salvation, our thanksgiving to God needs to be sacrificial and not just a tip to God!  One of the tensions in our stewardship lies in God giving us so much, and turning around to give to God the leftovers! Should we not rather give to God first, and then manage the rest?  Well, that is a challenge. Count your blessings first, and then write down your annual commitment to God. May God bless you and family abundantly.

Monsignor John S. Mbinda