“Remember the poor,” was the only condition given to St. Paul by Sts. Peter, James and John before leaving to minister to the Gentiles (Gal 2: 10). By “the poor” they meant the church of Jerusalem. And Paul was “eager” to do it.
In his journey, Paul received various responses from the different communities asking them to give each according to their means, but none as great as the one from the Church of Macedonia, which he praised.
“Their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part,” he writes. “For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints” (2 Cor 8:2-4).
The Macedonian community gave generously “beyond their needs” out of “abundance of joy.”
Christians are called to give “according to their needs” but “cheerfully” and “generously” (2 Cor 9:7, 11).
The Church recognizes that giving is part of the stewardship of our time, talents and goods, and that stewardship is a key part of being true disciples of Christ.
When giving becomes hard, the Church understands that it is a journey, for it is part of being a follower of Christ.
“Following Jesus is the work of a lifetime. At every step forward, one is challenged to go further in accepting and loving God’s will,” says the Pastoral Letter on Stewardship by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Stewardship involves a lifelong process of study, reflection, prayer, and action… This conversion of mind and heart will not happen overnight, but, as always, the Holy Spirit is at work in the Church today.”
To be more open to the call to give generously, Jack and Judy Pottle, parishioners at Queen of Peace Parish and long-time supporters of Denver’s Catholic Charities and Catholic schools, say that it’s important for the Christian to find something they are passionate about.
“Find something that resonates with you. For us, it became education,” Judy said. “Also find something where you can provide not only financial support but a skill. Time, talent and treasure are all needed to support a cause. It takes team work to make it happen.”
Giving means a lot to the person or organization receiving the gift, she affirmed: “When giving, we want them to feel that we have faith in them and their cause.”
To do so, Jack and Judy choose to give through the Catholic Foundation. Although people can give directly to different causes, giving through the Foundation has the advantage of providing staff expertise, faith-based priorities and a morally-responsible investment policy.
Moreover, it accepts current and deferred gifts to provide financial resources for categories in caring for the community, education, evangelization, parishes, seminarians, etc.
By being a public charity, a public juridical person of the Catholic Church and a separate legal entity from the Archdiocese of Denver, it is able to safeguard the gifts of the faithful for the charitable purpose they specify.
“Truly, to whom much has been given, much is expected,” Jack said. “We feel humbled by other’s generosity and called to continue to share our blessings. Ultimately, we want to share Christ.”
For more information about the Catholic Foundation, visit thecatholicfoundation.com.