Couple of years back when I was at Divine Liturgy in byzantine rite in Dublin I noticed our parishioners rather large donations in the collection basket. ALL of it and I mean ALL of it was 20 euro notes from many who have big family’s and work at low income jobs like hotels and the like. Yet here I came with my chunk of loose change and later spent 20 euro at the local pub having a drink and a meal.
It made me think because in almost all the roman churches in my region you would be lucky to ever see a 5 euro note in the basket let alone a 20 euro note. This begs the question . . . Are we giving enough to our local parishes? There is that old joke floating around where a priest is asked what he old advise the government do to help the church and he replies “yeah stop making one dollar bills”.
All belly laughter aside I think it is a serious cause for concern. St.Patricks cathedral in my hometown costs 12,000 euro to fill each oil tank for heating and are in debt up to their eyeballs. I remember one winter where everyone complained that the church was so cold. It was so cold because we are not being generous with our pockets and use the good old excuse of not having any money “due to the recession ya know how it is lads”. However when we leave church we spend. 20 euro on a new cd and a further 20 watching that movie at the cinema. We should be sacrificing little things here and there and putting the money aside and helping out our church.
Nobody likes talking about money and nobody likes it either, not even Jesus, but even the apostles recognised that it was that evil necessity and in the acts when a married couple gave only some of their land and kept some for themselves, after everyone having given all they had, they were rebuked for it and they died instantly. I am currently unemployed but I done a budget and can clearly see that I can at least afford 10 to 20 euros a week at every Sunday Mass. I must admit that even though we can afford it, that is only half the battle, because I still had to deal with the temptation of actually holding it back, that’s the other half of the battle. But we need to resist the temptation and give give give.
If you think you are unable to afford this every week, take a stand back and look at your iPhone, your ipad, your brand new radio you bought for your car and then say them words again, ” I can’t afford this every wee…eh …oh… Ugh” and you get my point.