In our readings this week, we see that “Amos condemns the complacency of the rich who seek only their own comfort (Amos 6:1,4-7). In his parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus echoes Amos, exhorting those who have to share with those who have not. Self-sufficiency must never blind us to the needs of others (cf. Luke 16:19-31, Psalm 146:7-10). Only in this way do we keep God's commandments in integrity and in truth (1 Tim 6:11-16).
The Diocesan Annual Appeal is fast approaching. Next weekend we will have the “kick off” for the Appeal. I encourage you to prayerfully consider giving to this appeal.
The appeal helps to fund the good works and the running of the Diocese. One of the major beneficiaries of the appeal is our Vocation program and Catholic Charities that assists those in our diocese who are in need.
Asking for money on behalf of the needs of the church is not an easy task for me. It is truly humbling. Sometimes we may get a sense that "the Church is always asking for money.” Well, yes and no.
Yes in that it costs money to do anything in this world. Just as in your homes you have to pay utilities, maintenance, upkeep, insurance, the parishes have to do so as well.
No in that it is not “always."
When and how many times we actually do talk about money: Besides Fall Festival and Fish Fry's at St Paul's, and the Chicken Dinner at St. James, or the PCCW collection on Low Sunday, there are four times, possibly five, in the year when a major appeal for money is made.
The Mission weekend in Summer, when missionaries come and make an appeal for the evangelizing work of the church in the missions. The Diocesan Annual Appeal in the Fall for the work of our local diocese. The Food for the Poor appeal in Winter to give material aid to the poor in the world. Whenever our local parish decides on a major project, such as the Window Project at St. Michael's, the Ramp Project at St. James, or any other campaign beyond the regular upkeep of the parish. In the case of urgent necessity, like the Hurricane relief effort a few years ago.
In all these appeals all I can urge is that you pray first. Do not become disheartened or overwhelmed, be at peace. What is He asking of you? If it's just a few dollars, then give just that. If it is more, from your abundance, give it as an act of Thanksgiving.
Thank you for your generosity and your prayers.
Happy Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels (September 29) to all parishioners, especially those of St. Michael Parish. May St. Michael be ever our strong protector in times of trial.
God bless you all this week,
Father Robert Letona