Sacrificial Giving begins with the recognition that everything we have has been given to us by God…our time, our talents, our money, yes, even life itself. Sacrificial Giving is based on an understanding that “as Christian stewards, we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.” (U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship)
…to Mission and Ministry
…to Christian Maturity
Take a Step!
Sacrificial Giving is:
Planned: The decision to give is just that—a decision. It requires thought and prayer, so that it is integrated with other financial decisions as part of a careful, intentional response to God’s generosity.
Proportionate: Part of our planning ensures that we give the “first fruits,” those gifts given first and not only after other obligations have been satisfied. Our giving should be proportionate or commensurate to what God has given us. Most people use the biblical concept of the tithe, a tenth, as a guide. In any case, our gift should reflect our level of gratefulness to God.
Sacrificial: Our proportionate gift becomes sacrificial when it comes from our substance rather than our abundance. When we give out our substance, we are changed in the process. We have given away something we thought we needed for ourselves, thus changing our lifestyle. We have acted on our belief that our security lies not in our material resources but in God.
Time and Talent: When we consider our participation in Sacrificial Giving, we need to include our time and talent as well as our money. Just as in giving money, giving time and talent expresses our gratitude to the God who has given us these gifts.
Our gifts of money do not substitute for gifts of time and talent. Neither do time and talent substitute for giving of financial resources. All are gifts from God. As you make your decision about the portion of income you will give this year to your parish, the poor and other charities, consider as well what you will give of your time and talent.
Consider the guideline of committing five hours per week to parish or other Church ministries and activities, community work or other kinds of social service. We can give more or less than this guide depending on our situation.
Sacrificial Giving is a necessary expression of our faith, of what we say we believe. We channel a portion of our giving through our parish because it is the body which most clearly bears witness to the meaning and values we find at the center of our lives.
Thank you for teaching me to be generous
as you have been generous with me.
Thank you for showing me that all I am and have are gifts from you,
And that these gifts from you, Lord, are meant to be shared.
Show me the joys of generosity. Help me to understand that others,
perhaps unknown to me, depend on me for help.
Remind me that my world, my parish,
needs “Good Samaritians” to heal the wounds of our times.
Make me a gift to others in your name. Amen