Most of us have heard phrases like, “It feels better to give than to receive,” or “I get more out of giving than out of receiving.” While the sentiment behind these sayings may true, they do not accurately reflect what true generosity is about for a disciple of Jesus. These phrases, as well intended and sincere as they may be, focus all of the attention on the giver and the good feelings to be had by being generous.
The truth is, generous sharing according to Jesus’ standards, may not feel so good at all. To see this, all we have to do is look to the old widow in the Gospel story Mark 12:38-44). She did not go to the temple that day to feel good about giving her last two cents. She came to the temple willing to feel a bit anxious because she gave all she had to support the ministry of the temple. The two cents she had was not extra. It was from her whole livelihood. She gave anyway just because it was the right thing to do to share what she had for the benefit of others.
On this commitment Sunday at Christ Cathedral Parish, we are being invited to follow the example of the old widow in the Gospel. We are being asked to generously share a portion of our financial resources to support the ministry of the parish. As disciples of Jesus, this Sunday reminds us that all that we have and all that we are belong to God. It is all a gift. We all have different amounts, and we all have something. We are not being asked to give equal gifts. We are being asked to make equal sacrifices.
The old widow was not so old after all. In fact, the day she went to the temple she was new because she used the newly given moment God gave her to generously share what she had with others. Commitment Sunday is an opportunity for us to use this moment that God gives us to share a portion of what we have to support the mission of Jesus through the parish. We are profoundly grateful for your generosity. The widow teaches us that as disciples of Jesus and good stewards, life is not so much about growing old as it is about growing new.
Together in faith,
Fr. Christopher Smith, Rector