THE SERVANT GENERAL
A TIME OF TRANSITION
MONEY FOR MISSION
Today’s gospel: Luke 21:1-4
Today we have the familiar story of the widow’s mite.
Wealthy people were putting their offerings into the treasury,
and a poor widow put in two small coins. Jesus commended her
as having given more than the others, because they gave from
their surplus wealth while she gave from her poverty.
giving has always been a challenge for Catholics, and even
in CFC-FFL it was a challenge, as many of our brethren do
not give anything, or give little in relation to what they
should be giving. In truth, the pocketbook is the last to
be surrendered to the Lord, and greater generosity in financial
giving is a sign of growing holiness.
reasons do we often hear why our brethren do not give, much
less give the prescribed tithe, that is, 10%? One major reason
is that they do not have enough for their own need, or that
they are poor, or that they are low wage earners, barely scrapping
by each day. The lesson of the widow’s mite demolishes
all these false arguments. The widow gave “from her
poverty” and “offered her whole livelihood.”
(v.4b). Did Jesus stop her, saying she needed her two small
coins more? He did not. Rather, he commended her and raised
her as a model for financial generosity.
the basic elements of this short story. (1) She was dirt poor,
and as a widow, had no one to care for her and was neglected
in society at that time. (2) She gave everything she had,
unmindful of her own need. (3) She was detached from material
possessions and put her total dependence on God. (4) For her,
it was God first, then whoever might be helped by the Church
next, and only lastly(or not even being in her priorities),
We are now Missionary Families of Christ. Our charism is evangelization
founded on family renewal. We are committed to mission. And
indeed there are very many opportunities to do mission, in
our own countries as well as abroad. But what holds us back
is money. What could we do with more money?
need to have more fulltimers. Most of our brethren serve with
their spare time. We need workers who will be available 24/7
We want to send out many missionaries. This is not about
short-term mission, which many are doing now, but about
being sent to other countries for much longer periods
of time, such as two years and beyond.
need to pay for travel and attendant expenses for mission.
Oh, if only our mission workers could just be borne on
angels’ wings. But no, we have to buy a ticket to
want to do more for the poor.
Actually, if every member gave something, even two small coins,
we would have more than enough to do more massive mission.
How much more if they gave a tithe?! We have an International
Mission Fund (IMF), which is over and beyond members’
contributions for our local or national work. Is it too much
in the Philippines to ask those who are not yet giving to
give just 20 pesos a month to the IMF? Is it too much in the
Western world to ask those who are not yet giving to give
just one or two dollars a month to the IMF? NO ONE IS TOO
POOR TO NOT BE ABLE TO GIVE SUCH.
us admit it. If you cannot give even this widow’s mite
(or preferably more than what she gave), what does it make
do not care about the life and mission of the community
to which you belong.
do not care about the salvation of many more souls, which
the work of MFC is about.
priority is yourself (and perhaps your family) rather
than God. If so, as Jesus himself says, you are not fit
to be his disciple. So who then would you be? Why are
you still in Christian community?
are unwilling to give up some of your regular coffee intake
or one of the family meals in a restaurant for the sake
of the mission. All we are asking, for those who are not
giving, is a pittance compared to what God has blessed
you with (even if you consider yourself poor).
do not understand how finances work in the Kingdom of
God. Everything belongs to Him, and whatever we give is
simply a small return, to be used for the work of the
Kingdom. Through the prophet Malachi, God challenges us
to tithe and experience a flood of blessings from Him.
I dread to consider the converse: if we do not give back
to Him, might God fit our financial situation to our lack
of generosity, and keep us in poverty? It is up to you.
God has raised us as MFC to do mission to the ends of the
earth. Let every MFC member support our work with his/her
finances. Be generous, as God has been generous to you.