Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What Do I Offer?

At Mass in the States, the offertory is pretty short... a basket is passed around, some people put money in it, a hapless family gets pulled aside before Mass to bring up the gifts of bread and wine... here it is different.

Some people offer money, which they bring up in a closed fist (good, so your left hand doesn't know what your right is giving. nor does anyone else). There is also a procession, along with the bread and wine, of many different gifts-in-kind. At the diaconate ordination Mass on Saturday, there was a special procession, with many gifts. The families of the newly ordained gathered outside the church at the time for the offertory, each processed up, bringing offerings of produce from their farms, or bottled water, or chickens, or goats (live!!!) or whatever it is that they had. They sang and danced and smiled all the way up to the altar. It was a very joyful sight to see.

In a way, this kind of offering is more conspicuous than the other, as it is difficult to clench a live goat in your fist. But at the same time, it is a way to give what you have.  If you don't have money, but do have pears, why not give that? What is offered goes out to parishes in need. The chicken and goats get eaten, eventually.  The water is sent where it is needed. The money goes to various apostolates or those in need. 

It has got me to think, though, about what I offer to God. What do I have to give? Do I give it to God? Do I hold it back? Am I concerned about what others think or know what I give? Does it matter? Give what you have... and be joyful doing it!

- Eric


1 comment:

  1. Eric,
    The offertory you describe certainly sounds quite a bit livelier than here in the US. Now we give to the Church electronically, so there isn't even an envelope, which on the other hand makes us look like we aren't giving anything!
    Oh well, another opportunity for humility.

    Hope all is going well there - you all are in our prayes.