The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Monday, November 28, 2016

She has put in more than all the others

Grammy, may I sit next to Mrs. Knowles? Sure the Grammy replies, but be nice she exclaims. Okay, the 5 year old responds while clinching on a piece of tissue paper. Some time during the Mass service the tissue paper falls out of her hand and out comes a hand full of coins, $1.85 to be exact. It was revealed by the grandmother that she was waiting for today to place her money in the collection basket, but as fate would have it, sleep got the best of her and she missed the offertory collection basket, but her Grammy did the task for her.

When my wife shared that story with me, I recalled the coins that I counted that evening from the collection and realized that they were the coins from the little girl. No amount is too small to offer up to God, especially if it comes directly from the goodness of your heart. The little girl, having saved her pennies put in all of her savings. She must have been taught the need to give with an open heart because she came to Mass with all good intentions to put in her offering. She could have kept her monies hidden away in hopes to add more to it so that she could buy her favorite toy, but she didn't do that.

We grow to become givers from the lessons taught to us by our parents and guardians. It is important that we always instruct our children from a very young age to give and to share our talents with others. The Church does not teach that we should give any set amount, but rather that we give freely and cheerfully an amount that we are able, as our young friend did who fell asleep before putting in her offering. Paul tells us this in 1 Corinthians 16:2, "On the first day of the week [Sunday] each of you should set aside whatever he can afford," as well as in 2 Corinthians 9:5-8:
"So I thought it necessary to encourage the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for your promised gift, so that in this way it might be ready as a bountiful gift and not as an exaction. Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.
Not only did our little friend give freely and cheerfully, but she also arranged in advance for her promised gift. During Mass we should not be trying to figure out how much to write our check for or to see if we have any money in our wallets or handbags for the collection plate/bag when the plate is being held in front of you as you seach. When your week ends, you should know by then what you are able to give, through prayer and meditation. As was mentioned above "whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." During collection of our offering to God we should not be asking the collection server if he/she has change for a $50. If you came to Mass unprepared to give your offering, then use that as a sign that maybe you should put in the entire $50 (just a suggestion, but do so happily, and with no regrets).

It does not matter what we put in the collection plate, so long as it comes from our heart and we are not holding back what we know we can afford to offer to God. Jesus explains to his disciples the way we should give in Mark 12:41-44: 
"He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.
May the 5 year old be an example to many of us that whatever we have comes from God and we owe everything to Him. I am always encouraged when children put money in the collection plate. They always come well prepared to make their offering. 

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