Does anyone have any thoughts on non-monetary offerings? Are there ways to give in lieu of the collection basket at Mass for those in difficult financial situations? I present a very modest gift each week but it does not feel like a true offering. Might we be called to give in other ways?
We are called to give of our time, talent, and treasure. So what can you help with around your parish. Can you teach religious ed, sing in the choir, lector, help clean the church, help decorate the church, help with the food pantry, help in the office, and any of the other numerous things that needs to happen every week in our churches.
I’ve never made much money and was recently out of work, so I’ve never had much to give in that way. But I am young and single with no kids, so I’ve always felt that I have more to give in the way of time and I try to do so. For others it is the other way around, they may have more money, but have a busy family so have little time to give. It works because we all should be doing what we can.
I am currently in RCIA and not really part of a specific parish…I am very much a student right now, taking things in but not necessarily at the stage where I can really give a lot back (due to lack of grounding in the Faith). My schedule is packed enough that I couldn’t wholeheartedly take on another regular commitment until mid-late December, so I am looking for ways to give that may not even require a great deal of time, at least until then.
Just now, I was outside and someone asked me for money…I find it so difficult in these situations because, to be quite honest, it is a challenge for me to give away money when I know that I can really only give so much and am not particularly thriving in that area myself…and I wonder about the impact…I’ve started praying for that person who comes up on the street, because only God knows what he/she really needs.
A true offering comes from the heart - it doesn’t depend on the value of the treasure, length of time or expertise of the talent.
After reading your post, I thought of Our Lord’s Words.
(Mark 12: 41-44) He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”
I agree with KarenElissa. There are lots of different ways to give and, as members of one body, we all suffer from each others’ lack and benefit from each others’ sharing.