Is It How Much We Give or How Much We Keep?
Our rural parish, St. Phillips near our farm, is a beautiful small community of about a hundred families. Our pastor, Father Zachary, a missionary from Zimbabwe, speaks five languages and we listen closely to understand his words and often times amazing insights.
For a long time now I’ve been quite proud of my response when the offertory basket comes by. I always put the largest bill in my wallet in the basket. Never wanting to leave mass thinking, “What a cheapskate!” One weekend this fall I had just gone to the ATM on Saturday to get a little petty cash. I had five twenty dollar bills in my wallet. The basket came by, and I threw in a twenty.
Driving home from church I thought to myself, “You cheapskate!” Suddenly …
It’s The Least I Could Do
Why is it that we want to help the most when the least will do and feel like the most?
Our elderly neighbor, Mary Lou, died recently. A childless widow, she died a pretty lonely woman. She was a woman of faith, a teacher for forty-two years, and had been retired for sixteen years, so her network had gone quite cold. She depended on Jamee, my wife, as a friend and neighbor, and as she diminished, Jamee’s connections increased and deepened. Jamee became her health advocate and confidant, and towards the end of Mary Lou’s life Jamee became her health care power of attorney. After her passing Jamee knew Mary Lou’s wishes about her funeral, so she became a point person with the parish and funeral home. Jamee often said, “John, …