November 16, 2014
The 5 cent chocolate bar, the 10 cent candy bar, the 15 cent hot dog, and the 20 cent ice cream are things of the past. Your coins seem to have lost their value. Even two thousand years ago, while talking about investment, Jesus spoke of talents, not coins (see the Gospel reading of this Sunday).
A talent at that time was a weight of coins. Its value depended on whether the coinage involved was copper, silver or gold. The commonest metal involved was silver; and the value of a talent of silver was about 1,000.00 Canadian dollars.
The parish is not a business or a company that produces worldly profit for your investment. Your money which you put in the collection basket will not make your bank account increase but it nourishes the life of the parish to serve God, you, your children, and your grandchildren. Your contribution is somehow a way you return the profit to God who has entrusted you the talents.
We encourage you to use church envelopes or cheques, not coins. Why? Your financial contributions to the parish qualify for Income Tax deductions. That means you will take back some money and in that way you have more to give.
A wealthy man pondered Jesus’ teaching on giving and he was deeply depressed by the whole thing. One day an angel came to comfort him: ‘Why are you so sad?’ He answered: ‘because of my master’s teaching on giving. Does it mean that I have to give again, again, and again?’ The angel replied: “No son, not at all. You have to give only as long as God gives to you. If God ever stops giving you, then you won’t have to give to others. Do you understand? By the way, God will continue to give you-except in much greater abundance than you could ever give.”
In the Gospel of Matthew there are three men who got some money from their master, and two of them used it well, whereas the third failed to make any use of it at all.
The word of God calls us to use our talents for good, not just for profit. It is too easy to say "Let the Church do it"-educate our children, prepare them for the sacraments, visit the hospitals, bring Holy Communion to the sick, reach the un-churched, serve in any community celebration, pay the bills, pay mortgage, fix the roof, etc. But we are all the Church. Each of us has gifts of nature and grace which can serve and touch the lives of others. We have to stop burying the talents and be up and doing. Remember the penitential rite at Mass. We ask forgiveness for what we have done and-importantly-for what we have failed to do. The most precious talent that God has given me is myself. Each of us could say: "I am the talent." When we prepare ourselves to meet God we should ask: "What have I made of myself?" May the Lord say to everyone of us: "Well done, enter into the joy of your Master." Thanks for your love and contributions to the church. God Bless you.