On Giving and Stewardship

The Stewardship Program (Balik-Alay) at our parish celebrated its first anniversary last September 15. The Stewardship Program aims to encourage parishioners to give back part of their material blessings to the parish for use in various projects, including projects for the poor.

The rationale behind the program stems from the acknowledgement that "everything that we have comes from God." Stewardship, then, believes that what we have is not "totally ours" but a means to help others and more importantly, to help spread the Word of God and share God's love with people around us. In a sense, deciding to be part of a Stewardship Program, can be seen as an act of thanksgiving, as well as an act of faith. We thank God for all the blessings that we receive and also trust that our needs will be provided for so we can help more people.

Last Friday, it was the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Bishop Ongtioco, who celebrated the mass, talked about mothers and how when a child suffers, the sorrows of a mother are double that of her child. He then talked about compassion or how as individuals, we are supposed to "feel for the other." He then tied it with the Stewardship Program and how we must be moved to give of our blessings so we may help another with his burdens.

He then talked about a person who approached him and said: "Bishop, all I do is give. I keep giving and giving. When do I stop giving?"

The bishop replied by saying: "You can stop giving when God stops giving to you."

God gives to us every single day. The bishop pointed out that from the very moment you open your eyes in the morning, that, in itself, is a gift.

So, in our everyday lives, let us find occasions to be more giving -- of our time, of our resources. You may be able to do this through your church or through organizations that you may be a part of. At this time, I am reminded of a quotation that I heard in some talk before about abundance and tithing:

"God shovelled the blessings in. I shovelled the blessings out. In all my years, however, I have never been able to outshovel God."

May the Lord bless you with a giving heart so you may spread His love to people around you. Have a good day! =)

[By Angelica Viloria | Wednesday, September 20, 2006]

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