Thursday, July 9, 2015

How are you supporting the Church and its workers? - Daily Reflections July 9,2015

Jesus reminded the Apostles, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give” (verse 8). Salvation is not for sale.  Grace, by virtue of the word itself, is free and available to everyone. It is the ultimate purpose of God to welcome everyone back to His family.
       But many, both laity and the clergy, would contest this. The laity would ask why the Church charges certain fees. On the part of the Church, they ask why they would not need support from the faithful. Both questions are valid. In the light of the Gospel, how could both questions be answered?
       Sacraments and other services in the Church are meant to lead the faithful towards salvation. God does not exact any price for it, except for the willingness to admit one’s sins, obey His commands, and love Him like He loved us, unconditionally. Sacraments cannot be assessed. But living in a material world necessitates material things. Maintaining churches and dispensing the sacraments involve some expenses for the church.
       Churches need to pay their workers, bills have to be paid, etc. “The laborer deserves his keep” (verse 10). Donations from the faithful are therefore necessary. These donations are not payments. If sacraments will be paid, many people will not be able to afford them. Donations are made according to the capacity of the faithful. In many cases, the faithful find it hard to estimate how much to donate. Thus, proposing a certain amount may be in order. But it must be made clear that the donation is voluntary and not essential to avail of the sacraments and other services of the Church.
       Once, a couple applied to be married in church. They claimed they were low on funds. I told them to just donate whatever they can afford. When the wedding day came, I was surprised to see their entourage with elegant gowns, the aisle teeming with flowers, three photographers and a videographer covering the event, and so on. Talk about “low on funds!” Fr. Benny Tuazon
REFLECTION QUESTION: How are you supporting the Church and its workers?
Help me to be faithful in supporting Your Church, Lord.

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