"Sacrificial Giving"

Money is a very tangible reality for all of us. We would find it difficult to live in today's society without knowing how to properly manage our income. When making a commitment to give sacrificially, we must place our trust in God and not our wealth and material possessions. We are encouraged to become Disciples of Christ by placing God as the focus of our lives. The first step is to develop an active prayer life and ask Him for guidance in making important decisions.

Stewardship of treasure is the spiritually motivated way for us to share our financial resources and is based on the following principles:

Our gift should be planned, proportionate, sacrificial, and a prayer of thanksgiving. Our gift should include our parish and worthwhile charities of our choice.

Planned: The degree of planning that goes into our sacrificial giving reflects the importance of our commitment to give. The decision to give is just that -- a decision. It requires thought and time, 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 thatr we give the "first fruits" -- those gifts given first and not only after other obligations have been satisfied. And they are proportionate to what God has given us. Some use the biblical concept of the tithe, a tenth (5% to Church and 5% to other charities) as a guide but in any case the gift is proportionate of our resources. What is important is that we continue to strive to take a step toward planned and proportionate giving.

Sacrificial: God will never be outdone in His generosity. The proportion of our gift becomes sacrificial when it comes from our substance rather than our abundance. When we give out of substance, we are changed in the process: we have given away something we thought we needed for ourselves, thus changing our lifestyle, and we have acted on our belief that our security lies not in our material resources but in God.

Prayer of Thanksgiving: As such, our gift of money is appropriately presented at the Offertory at Mass. The celebration of Christ's sacrifice is a fitting context for our own sacrificial offering which is a grateful response to the unfathomable love God has shown for us.