The Sacrifices of the Heart

Week of November 8, 2015

In the Gospel today, the Lord Jesus invites us to look deeply into why we give and what is the starting point of that giving.  We hear of two people.  One gives so that others may see him.  One makes a big deal of the giving.  While the monetary value may be greater, the reason for the giving is very shallow.  The second comes with a humble heart knowing that all she has belongs to God.  All she has finds its origins in Him.  That gift, while not enormous in monetary value, is greater because the starting point is a deep spirituality.

In the past week we all received a letter about our sacrificial offerings.  We all are given important information as to the budget and where our costs are incurred, but beyond the numbers are the stories of faith to which the Gospel invites us to look.  The poor woman who had very little did more than the great one who in number gave more.  How does this happen?  It is all connected to the starting point.  Everything we have has been given to us as a gift from God.  When we realize He is the creator and author of our lives, we are given the gift of sight.  We see that what we are to give is just a fraction of what God has given us.

We are blessed.  We have been given so much.  All I ask is that you prayerfully consider what more God is asking of you.  What more can I give? What more can I do? How can my life make a difference?  This difference can be found in the many stories of faith behind and beyond the numbers.  Our Religious Education students of all ages have a beautiful facility that invites them to deepen their connection with God.  As a community, we gather each week in this special place of sacrament that uplifts us as we walk through the door, now with a handicapped mechanism for those with physical needs.  We hold a treasure and I know many are stretched to the limits and it is hard to navigate.  I ask you to do what you can.

I like to think of it in small ways. What is the cost of a pizza?  We all have different kinds we like and the price of each varies, but what is that cost?  If it is a frozen pizza, it’s cheaper, but if you order for pick up, what is the cost? $15 to $25?  Can we sacrifice a pizza a month for God?  If everyone sacrifices one pizza a month, we can continue to grow ministries, upkeep our facilities and do all the things God invites us to do.  Pray about it. All we have really belongs to God.  What can we do?

I thank you for your generosity of the past and invite you to partner with God as we discern what more we can do together.

Rev. John J. Ouper