By MATT POTTER
RADICAL JOY — CATHOLIC STEWARDSHIP AND ABUNDANCE
There is palpable tension in the world, exacerbated by so much uncertainty as to the time and manner of getting back to normal, whatever that was/is.
The past couple weeks (I’m writing this in early May) in the Office of Readings, part of the Liturgy of the Hours, we have been reading from the Book of Revelation. If you want an eye-opening experience, read that book of the Bible for yourself. Even with all the deep symbolism used by John in the writing of this final book of scripture, it is easy to follow along – and become very concerned and frightened.
Revelation is a prophetic tale that describes the last great battle. There are angels, kings, devils, a beast locked up for 1,000 years, a harlot, and plenty of blood, death and destruction for everyone.
Spoiler Alert: God wins.
It takes John 20 chapters to reach that point. But when he does, there are the most amazing, beautiful words of comfort that come from God’s throne:
“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God]. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away” (Rev 21:3-4).
The last few months have been tough. While there are no foreign armies shooting at us or invading our homes, the combination of health and economic crises have created a disastrous environment. Yet there is God in the middle of it all, telling us “He will wipe every tear from their eyes ….”
God does this through His people. Doctors, nurses, first responders of all types laying down their lives for others. How can we ever thank them enough for their sacrifices?
There is another group, however, who will never get thanked on the evening news.
When the decision was made to suspend the public celebration of Mass, those of us in Church administration knew that this meant financial support would take a beating. The income that provides the resources for the ministries of the Church comes from donations from the faithful. When Mass attendance stops, so do the donations.
Then the unexpected happened. People did things they have never before been asked to do. Parishioners shared their financial gifts in numbers that we never expected. Not only did many people continue their existing support of their parish, but more than a few made large gifts in addition to their regular donations.
For those of you who gave, we can’t thank you enough. Times are difficult for all of us; but you overcame those troubles to help your friends, neighbors and fellow parishioners. Your generosity, compassion and willingness to step up have made a tremendous difference in your parish.
Even with the uncertainty and the tension, people answer God’s call to stewardship. We are all very grateful to you.
To all those first responders, and to all those anonymous donors, THANK YOU! God is using your hands to wipe every tear from their eyes.
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