By Kaelanne Jordan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Altar servers of the Archdiocese were reminded of their call to live lives reflective of a “true religion” which means always putting God first and embracing the generosity formula— the less you have remaining, the more generous you are; the more you have remaining, the less generous you are.
This was the crux of Archbishop Jason Gordon’s homily as he identified the themes of fake and true religion in the gospel reading (Mark 12:38–44) during last Sunday’s Altar Servers’ Council Annual Thanksgiving Mass, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Fake religion, the Archbishop observed, was when scribes “pappyshow” the crowd by taking positions of privilege for others to believe that they’re superior.
“…Because that’s when you doing things to try and impress other people—to try and impress the people around us, to try and make people notice us…. But none of us here into fake religion?” the Archbishop questioned. The altar servers gave a resounding ‘No’. “Thank you, Jesus,” the Archbishop said in response, to some laughter from the congregation.
Archbishop Gordon affirmed that true religion, in the second half of the text was evident when the widow gave everything she possessed—two cents. Commenting on this, he posed the question to the altar servers: “Is two cents more than $100?” He believed the two cents are comparably more valuable.
“The woman was extremely generous because from two cents to zero. Zero is the factor of extreme generosity,” he said. The Archbishop then posed the questions “How are you going to be generous with your life? How are you going to put God first in your life?” to the altar servers.
“As an altar server, I want you to remember …. give God from your best, not from what you have left over….in your time, in your money, in your sacrifice, in everything.”
The Archbishop told them they have an incredible privilege when they are on the altar for Mass as they get to experience the most “dramatic, amazing things”.
“…Our bread and wine transform to the body and blood of Christ. You are there as first witnesses to this incredible miracle that happens on the altar every single time that you serve…. And I want you to be conscious now….”
Archbishop concluded his homily by inviting altar servers who may be struggling to put God first, to ask Him for grace to do so.
Vicar General Fr Martin Sirju and a number of other priests concelebrated the Mass, with the assistance of deacons. Episcopal Delegate for Youth Winston Garcia brought greetings, and Courtney Lezama, Altar Servers’ Council interim coordinator addressed his fellow altar servers.