A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Giving What Is God’s

Posted on: October 20, 2014

Then [Jesus] said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

~Matthew 22:21*

At yesterday’s Mass, the Gospel reading dealt with the question about paying taxes that the Pharisees posed to Jesus—after they tried to trick him with flattery by saying that they knew he was impartial and taught God’s way truthfully (see Matthew 22:15-17).

As our parish priest pointed out, more than money is at issue. We need to contribute to the society we live in by paying taxes, but we also need to build up the Church through our offering. Not only by placing money in the collection plate, but also by offering our time and talents.

When we take part in the Mass, we spend time in worship, praise and prayer. We give of our time to God.

As the priest also pointed out, many people are involved as the service unfolds, from the priest and deacon to the sacristan, altar servers, worship music team, lector, gift bearers, people who take up the offering, and so on. When they serve during the Mass, they give of their time and talents to God.

We could step forward and share our talents (and maybe discover new ones) by signing up at our parish’s ministry fair or by contacting the leaders of ministries listed in the bulletin or on the parish website. Volunteers in children’s and youth ministry, social justice groups, pastoral care and more are vital—and, it seems, often in short supply.

And for parishes with Confirmation candidates, including a service component and encouraging candidates to find opportunities to fulfill it within the parish, as some parishes do, would be a wonderful way to teach them about giving to God.

I pray that we would consider ways to use our time and talents to give to God what is his and encourage our families, newcomers, and those whose gifts we’ve noticed to do the same.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.

~ 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

(*Scripture quotes and reference taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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