“We, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.” – Saint Paul
You may have noticed that the gaps in between the parishioners in our pews are increasing with each passing week. Regrettably, the existing voids in our seats are not due to successful New Year’s resolutions! The church in America is in the midst of its own very real struggle – presence. This year, The Catholic Community of St. Matthias is embracing the challenge to live as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ by intentionally renewing our stewardship commitments of time, talents, and treasure. We want you to grow and mature in your patterns of giving as an orientation of life in and around God just as we hope and expect you to grow and mature in other ways. Through God’s grace, our intentional commitment to a life of thanksgiving and joy, will be a continuous conversion of mind and heart that recognizes God’s unfailing goodness in all things.
In celebrating God’s goodness, it is important for us to remember that while God is perfect, the church often has a few shortcomings. Despite the fact that there may be a long list of personal struggles with the church as an institution, we ought not forget that it is we who are the church. It is we who are followers of Christ Jesus and it is we who are his body here on earth. We may have our shortcomings (we are human after all), but we cannot separate ourselves from the Body (the church) and expect to live in the fullness of God’s love! Likewise, were we to detach ourselves, the church could not function to its full potential. Our faith, our involvement and ownership of it, is an ongoing choice to remain in God’s love with others. As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, “We, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.” We, as one body, must choose to remain faithful in our presence to one another, especially in worship, for it is here that we are strengthened by the Spirit in unity. Together we live. Together we love. Together we are the church.
As we are faced with the daily choice to remain in step with the Spirit, may we be filled with the joy and gratitude of living in the Love of God. As God’s children and Christ’s Body, may we celebrate the many gifts that have been gifted to us, may we nurture them to be developed more fully, may we share them with one another, and may we return them to the Lord with increase. One of the gifts from the Lord that we are called to nurture, share, and return is the “M”- word – money! This year, as we consciously remember that we are the church, we ask you to prayerfully consider what you will offer to the Lord. What pattern of giving will you establish as both an expression of gratitude and a commitment of sacrifice? Thank you for joining with us this year as we mature in God’s love together. Together, may we boldly proclaim, we are the church.