Cardinal: Faith and Generosity needed to spread the Gospel

Ervin TanFeature, Reflections

His Eminence, Cardinal William Goh delivering the homily at Catholic Foundation’s 2023 Thanksgiving Mass.
Photo: VITA Images

In this extract of Cardinal William Goh’s homily delivered at the Catholic Foundation Thanksgiving Mass on Nov 29, 2023 at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, we are reminded to be accountable for the gifts God has given to us, and to steward them for His glory.

In today’s readings, the Church invites us to prepare ourselves and, more importantly, to take stock of how we have lived our lives according to the blessings that God has bestowed on us. We are called to review these gifts, and how we have grown and cherished our faith.

Growing our gifts

In the first reading (Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28), we learn about how King Belshazzar, the son of King Nebuchadnezzar, inherited the properties, power, and all the glory of the kingdom from his father. King Belshazzar was so engrossed in merry-making and enjoying life that he had no heart for his people. He abandoned his duty as king, and instead of uniting and growing his people, he squandered the state’s finances, to the extent that he and his nobles were filled with arrogance. They failed to respect the sacred traditions of the past that belonged to the Jews, and even used the sacred vessels from the temple for their meals
and celebrations.

We learn that, often, when we inherit things from our family, we tend to be irresponsible with what we receive, and consequently squander it. We do not make an effort to use these gifts for our own growth, nor do we grow these gifts for God and His Church. We need to be aware, especially for future generations, that when we inherit such gifts, we should exercise stewardship with accountability and responsibility.

Recognising God’s blessings

This is truly a good reminder for everyone. When God blesses us with success, we take these blessings for granted and become arrogant with our achievements. We start to feel entitled. We also tend to get lulled into a sense of complacency, thinking that we deserve all that we have, purely because of our own hard work. We therefore feel that we can spend and use what we have for ourselves, without realising that everything we have comes from God, and that we must use these gifts for His greater glory.

We all have a responsibility to build the Kingdom of God. The Lord has blessed each one of us with different charisms and talents, and these are gifts that must be used to build our community and society. Otherwise, we will find ourselves in a similar situation as King Belshazzar. This is especially so for those who are in positions of leadership; we need to recognise that we are not leaders for ourselves, but leaders for the world.

Faith and Thankfulness

As we gather here for the Catholic Foundation Thanksgiving Mass, we come before God in faith and thankfulness. I praise and thank God for your faith and the gifts you have entrusted Catholic Foundation with.

The gift of faith is of utmost importance, for without it, we would not have the necessary manpower and resources to spread the Gospel. Catholic Foundation plays a key role, as it stewards the necessary resources to grow the faith of Catholics across our Archdiocese. Therefore, when you contribute to the Foundation, you are actually giving for the glory of God and to spread the Gospel, and not just giving to the Church.

When we give, we give in faith. There is a need for each of us to be passionate about the Church. When people are not passionate or lack faith, it is difficult to encourage them to give.

When our faith is strong, we will be happy to exercise our stewardship responsibility for the Church, and to spread the Gospel. We will gladly use our time, talents, and treasures to build the Church and grow the Kingdom of God.

Let us keep this faith burning passionately in our hearts, so that we can pass it on to future generations, and more people will know who God is and how much He loves us.

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