St. John Chrysostom was an outspoken advocate for the poor. He spoke boldly about the excesses of the ruling class in the face of abject poverty in Constantinople. St. John offered this message not only as an advocate for the poor, but also as a spiritual lesson since our giving has spiritual consequences. Therefore, he wrote the following:
“The rich man is not one who has much, but one who gives much. For what he gives away remains his forever.”
Throughout the Gospels, we learn of Jesus’ teaching to store up treasures in heaven as opposed to seeking material wealth. The Lord warns that we can gain the world and forfeit our souls; so powerful is the attraction for material things that can “own” us.
When we offer almsgiving and stewardship giving, we perform a spiritual exercise that reveals that our money does not own us, as we give it freely for God’s glory.
Our stewardship giving offers the opportunity to make an investment that remains ours forever. This is the significance of our decision to offer a sacrificial gift to support the ministries of Annunciation.