This weekend is Stewardship Sunday in all the Catholic Churches around the world. Not coincidentally the church gives us the gospel of the poor widow. She is surrounded by the scribes who like “preferential treatment.” They accept seats of honor at synagogue and at banquets, they recite lengthy prayers…and they steal for themselves. In the middle of this is the little widow. Unbeknownst to her, Jesus is watching. With His disciples Jesus watches her put two small coins worth a few cents into the treasury.
In light of that trusting widow, I ask you to consider your own commitment to your own parish this week. In my parish the people have been served by the church since 1877—consistently and uninterrupted. There has been a priest serving here every day for 138 years. I think of that every morning when my alarm goes off at 5:30. I realize that if I oversleep I will break that incredible record. I don’t ever want to do that. And so it is with faith-filled joy that I thank you for your generosity to your own parish. In spite of hardships and difficulties, you remain faithful to your commitment to your parish, to your Diocese, and to the Universal Church. I see this all the time. One generous parishioner has “God bless my church” permanently embossed onto her checks. She is so proud to support her parish. She loves her parish. She inspires and humbles me…and she doesn’t even know it.
Often many people push money into my pocket and tell me to “give it to the poor and needy.” I usually don’t open the envelopes, but just pass them to a needy family or individual. They always cry. The envelope could contain two dollars or two hundred dollars. I don’t look inside. Last month after a funeral Mass a 6th grade altar server named Christian received a few dollars for serving the Funeral Mass. Upon leaving the church he asked me where the poor box was so he could give the money to the poor.
Thank you for all you do for your own parish and her poor. It is not my church. It is your church. I just work here. This Stewardship Sunday, may God bless you, may God bless America, and may God bless all those who have made the sacrifices to give us our life, our faith and our freedom.
Fr. Gerard Gordon