Our time begins at birth and ends on this earth with death. For most, it is about 25,000 days. Our time is precious and cannot be stored up like grain in a barn. Once a moment passes it is gone forever. God wants all of us to reach heaven; that is why He created us and why He sent us Jesus. Our life on earth is a pilgrimage toward heaven. Each day, each week, each month and each year we must be progressive on our pilgrimage. We cannot do this unless we give some time to God.
- Through daily prayer, we develop a close personal relationship with God, sharing with Him our successes and failures, and asking for His guidance in our daily lives.
- Reading Scripture daily helps us reflect on God's word. It also tells of God's great love for us.
- Assisting individuals and organizations is another way to share our personal time to the glory of God. We also show our love for Him by letting Christ use our feet, our hands, our eyes and our voice.
Your gift of time is unique, because you are the only one who can give it.
All of us have special talents or gifts, which are a sign of the power and majesty of God, who can do all things. These talents and gifts are not given to us just for our own use, but are given to us for the enrichment of the lives of others and so that we can serve God better.
St. Peter in his first epistle tells us, "Each one of you has received a special grace, so like good stewards responsible for all these different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others."
All of Christ's works need to be done in our parish and community. As you know, Christ is not physically present in our parish to:
- visit the sick and elderly,
- feed the hungry,
- teach those who want to learn,
- console the lonely and sorrowful,
- pray for the needs and to give a helping hand and a kind word.
Christ depends upon each one of us to do these Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy in His name. That makes us co-workers with Christ in the Holy Works of Redemption. What a privilege!
Your gift of talent is a special gift only you can give. Remember the words of St. Francis of Assisi: "It is in giving that we receive."
The Christian need to share our gifts of Treasure may be best illustrated by the well-known parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30, which speaks of a man preparing to travel to a far country. Before departing, he gives talents or money to his servants.
- The first servant receives five talents and works to build them into five more.
- The second servant, who receives two talents, doubles their value as well.
- But the third servant, who receives one talent, buries it.
When the master returns, he praises the first and second servants, but he takes the one talent from the third servant because the servant was not a good steward of the money, having done nothing to increase its value. The lesson of the parable of the talents is that we are to make good use of material gifts given to us by God. To be less than frugal with our material goods is a sin. To do nothing with them is just as wrong.
When we do make the most of material possessions, Sacred Scripture points out two ways we can show our gratitude to God for his gifts.
- First, because God is the Giver, some percentage of what is received must be returned to Him as an act of gratitude. (The Old Testament people were expected to give a tithe of 10 percent. This practice is mentioned 39 times in the Old Testament and 11 times in the New Testament, so we know it is God's will that the practice be continued.)
- Secondly, there should be some sharing of our money and material goods with those in need in our family, community, diocese and world. Paul 11, Cor. 9:1-15.
Your gift of treasure is a direct gift only you can give. Remember the words of St. Francis of Assisi: "It is in giving that we receive."