One of the five precepts of the Catholic Church, alongside the call to attend Mass, receive the Eucharist, go for confession, and observe days of fasting, is to provide for the “material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability” (CCC 2043).
The call to give is in fact a loving encouragement for every Christian to emulate Christ more concretely in daily life. “For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich”, wrote St Paul to the Corinthians as he urged them to be more giving (2 Cor 8:8).
The Church challenges everyone to regard material wealth “not merely as exclusive” to oneself, but “common to others also, in the sense that they can benefit others as well” (CCC 2404). To Catholics, all created things are gifts from God, given to be shared for the good of all. This attitude of generosity is encouraged in every aspect of life, including toward the Church, so that she may always have what is necessary to truly “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19).
On one hand, it is a mistake to think that the Church relies solely on material things. Yet, on the other hand, absolutely integral to the Church’s mission is the necessary resources to support and extend her work.
Today, every Catholic in Singapore is challenged to consider pledging a regular contribution to the Church. Then can we show the world that we, “though many, are one body” (1 Cor 12:12).
See Archbishop William Goh’s reflection on the spiritual reasons for giving here.