Abel was very concerned that his sacrifice be special to God. He chose his first and best lamb and offered it to the Lord. It was hard for Abel to give up his most prized possession, but it was important to him to try his best to do as God had asked.
Cain thought his little brother was a bit silly for giving up his best lamb. “Good grief,” he thought. “We need that lamb, God doesn’t. I’m sure He’d be just as happy if we sacrificed the runt of the litter. In fact, why does it need to be a lamb at all? I’m a farmer and it’s been a great year for my wheat crop — I can’t use everything I’ve grown. Why don’t I just burn some of the extra straw I have. That way, I won’t be wasting any.”
If you reason and believe with the heart of this world, it would make sense to you. But, with the eternal eyes of above Abel shows his ability to recognize all is from God and rightfully belongs to Him.
Cain, lacks the faith to trust God will provide his needs if he can put God first. He fails and realizes the cost of his lack of faith and gratitude.
St. Thomas Parish is a spirit filled spiritual home. We are blessed with many dedicated parishioners who offer their time in a variety of ministries. Here at St. Thomas we do a great deal of good for the poor, homeless, families in need etc.
Our parish is continuing to grow in numbers and spirit. It is because of this that I want to give you something to contemplate. Over the years our Sunday collection has not kept up with the rise in the cost of living. Some families have given the same five or ten dollars a week for many years. If that is all that you can, then God will bless you and I thank you. However, for those who have seen cost of living, job promotions and pay raises, I ask you to consider if you are due to make an increase in your Sunday contribution. Today, a movie ticket it over $10, registrations for sports is in the hundreds, so I am asking everyone to prayerfully contemplate what is a just amount to support your parish according to your circumstances. Like Abel, you can be guaranteed God will never be outdone when we put His church first.
Our relationship with Jesus moves us to live exceptional lives. Every breathing soul has a stewardship mission for their life. We are accountable for how we use our time, talent, energy and finances. God calls us to live a life that witnesses to the gospel . Our life needs to be centered on the things that are important to a life that brings us, at our final hour, back home to our God. We need to be people of Godliness, generosity and contentment. If we can achieve the gospel message, we will be ordinary people living extraordinary lives.
Over the years we have watched a number of parishes close due to the decline of financial support from the parish community. We can attribute many reasons for this but the bottom line is the lack of funds to keep up with the cost of living. A movie today is $10 a ticket. We have increased our support to all aspects of our living but fail to do the same to our parish support. Have you kept your Sunday Collection donation up to the current times?? Have you been giving the same donations for years? If so, maybe consider increasing it to meet today’s cost of living.
Please know the issue is not the amount, rather stewardship. Today many face difficult financial situations and are may not be able to give financially at all. In a situation like that, our time can be our stewardship.
St. Thomas is your spiritual home. It is an outreach to the poor among us, as well as a refuge for all of us that seek a path in discerning the will of our Father in heaven. Volunteer in the parish, join one of the ministries. You are the parish. Don’t let St. Thomas be one of the parish that is forced to close, be an active part of the life of the parish with your Time, Talent and Tithing.
Please join us weekly at Sunday Mass and support your parish so we may continue to serve you, join in prayer and receive our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Electronic Giving Available!
Earn rewards while you help your parish. Use your CREDIT CARD for electronic giving. It’s a win for you and St. Thomas.
Saint Thomas the Apostle has enlisted Parish Giving to provide its members with the opportunity to use Electronic Funds Transfer as an alternative method for giving. Parish Giving is being offered to you free of charge. At the same time, Saint Thomas the Apostle will benefit from a reliable, more efficient and more convenient means to process the contributions that make it possible to support its mission.
On this giving site, you will be able to select from the various opportunities to contribute to our parish and other initiatives. Keep in mind that all contributions are processed once a month. Following is an overview of some of the features:
- Ability to make one-time contributions
- Ability to make recurring contributions
- Ability to contribute to multiple organizations
- Ability to select your billing date
- Ability to use Credit Card or Bank Transfer
- Ability to access end of year contribution reports
We understand how difficult these financial times are for our parishioners. For this reason, we are trying various avenues to raise money without impacting your wallet. Many of our families are currently supporting these programs, and we give you our thanks for doing so. Your continued support makes these programs successful as it brings in revenue for the parish, school, spiritual programs etc. If you are not involved in any of the current painless, costless fundraisers, please consider becoming part of one or more.
St. Thomas has been blessed with the Holy Spirit moving within our parish. Our ministries are growing due to the generosity of our members volunteering their time and energy. Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, the Icon of Our Mother of Eucharist and Grace has blessed many people with health, peace and returning to the sacraments.
I ask our members to please reflect on your weekly Sunday offering, and ask if you are fairly supporting your parish. I know everyone has different incomes and expenses and you need to meet them. I have found that people started out ten years ago with a certain donation and have never made an increase. I think what happens, is we forget and just routinely give what we always have. Our expenses have increased as our families have and we are dependent on your generosity to keep our heads above water.
Please prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to direct you in your tithing to your parish, perhaps a $1 increase would be possible. I want you to know I am very grateful for your support in whatever way you are able to do so. May God return your generosity to you a hundred fold.
ATTENTION ALL GIANT SHOPPERS
The faculty and students of St. Thomas the Apostle School ask you to help raise money to support school needs. This is one of the easiest means of earning money toward our project. All you need to do is register your Giant Bonus Card online at www.giantfoodstores.com/plus and enter your bonus card number.
To make it even easier to participate; here are various means of getting your card registered. You may send your bonus card number to school and we will register you (please mark your envelope: Angie). You may write your number on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope marked Rose Costa and drop it in the Sunday Collection Basket; call the Rectory with your number (610-459-2224) or send it with a student. Please, take a moment to help us by getting your bonus card number in to benefit the school. This does not change your gas/turkey points in any way. We thank all of our families that have already provided their number to benefit St. Thomas the Apostle School. Let’s reach this goal as a parish family.
St. Thomas offers the E-Scrip program. It provides us the potential to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars with this fundraiser. The best part is this is money we are spending anyway so it doesn’t cost you anything extra.
Our Parish stocks many retail, grocery stores, and restaurant gift cards. You may order gift cards for many other participating companies, including hotels, restaurants, gas, toys, clothing, etc…,
A world of sincere thanks to our parishioners that have made a continued commitment of their Time, Talent and Treasure for the promotion of the Gospel of our Lord. It is your generosity that supports every aspect of our parish life, and allows St. Thomas the Apostle Parish to answer the call of God in the spiritual life of our parish community.