Is it feasible to contribute even if I do not have much?
HALAD (“offering” in Visayan) and stands for “Handog ng Alagad sa Diyos” is our seminary’s monthly tithing. It is a stewardship initiative for seminarians that encourages us to practice discipleship through giving. This program also encourages seminarians to live a generous and self-sacrificial lifestyle to express our gratitude to God, the Creator and Source of everything that we have. In the same way, this program helps us relate how we live out our commitment to God.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus and his disciples were confronted by tax collectors on tax evasion. Jesus paid the tax so as not to set a negative example. Jesus exemplified generosity and showed that doing what is right and good, such as paying the temple tax, is always His top priority.
In retrospect, the Gospel invites me to also examine my generosity toward others and the church. As a seminarian, I may not have much in terms of resources, but I know I can still give according to my heart’s desires amidst scarcity. St. John Paul II once said, “Nobody is so poor he has nothing to give, and nobody is so rich he has nothing to receive.” I am doing this, not out of duty and obligation, but because it is the right thing to do. It is also a way to reciprocate the generosity and love of God for me.
By: Sem. Roldan B. Baliano
As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee,
Jesus said to them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
And they were overwhelmed with grief.
When they came to Capernaum,
the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said,
“Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes,” he said.
When he came into the house, before he had time to speak,
Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon?
From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax?
From their subjects or from foreigners?”
When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him,
“Then the subjects are exempt.
But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook,
and take the first fish that comes up.
Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax.
Give that to them for me and for you.”