This Act of Grace
The Reason behind Special Collections at St. Rita
On occasion we’ll take up a special collection on Sunday in addition to the normal collection. Why do we do that? Well, because it’s biblical! During Paul’s ministry, there was a great famine in Jerusalem, so Paul appealed to the Christian communities spread throughout the world for help. Commonly called the “Jerusalem Collection,” Paul taught that because all Christians throughout the world were united in faith, they should also be united in charity and material support. Writing to the Corinthians, Paul first complimented them saying, “Now as you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge…may you excel in this gracious act also” (2 Cor. 8:7). Paul taught that just as Christ became poor for our sake, so we should make ourselves poorer for the sake of others. “[N]ot that others should have relief while you are burdened,” Paul insisted. However, Paul taught, out of our “surplus” we should “supply their needs” (2 Cor. 8:14). Our act of generosity, Paul also argued, was an expression of our gratitude to God (2 Cor. 9:12).
This, very simply, is why we have special collections from time to time in the Catholic Church and at St. Rita. Even in difficult financial times, we are remarkably blessed here in Dallas. And since we belong to the universal Church, we live in solidarity with our fellow Catholics everywhere in the world. Therefore, just as Paul asked the Corinthians to give to the needs of suffering Christians in Jerusalem, the Church asks us from time to time to help others in need throughout the world. Sometimes special collections go to help Christians in Europe, Africa, or the Holy Land, and sometimes special collections go to help the Church’s ministries and charities here at home. These collections are vital to the Church’s outreach. And, as Paul taught, these collections are opportunities for you to express your thankfulness to God as well as your love for your fellow Christians.
So, when another special collection comes around, please give! Please pray and consider helping your fellow Catholics at home and around the world. We are so blessed at St. Rita, but let’s excel in this act of grace also!