By Archbishop Michael Jackels
The Liturgy of the Word is followed by the part of Mass called the Liturgy of the Eucharist. It begins with the collection, the offertory, and the preparation of the bread and wine.
The collection is much more than the means to pay the bills associated with continuing the mission of Jesus in the ministries of the Church.
What we put in the basket is our gift made in return for what Jesus gave to us. Like Jesus’ gift of self, it should be sacrificial in nature, given cheerfully, to benefit the Church’s mission and the poor.
And if we don’t have money to give, we should still put our hand in the basket when it is passed, to symbolize our gift of time or talent in service – something, anything as a gift in return for and in imitation of Jesus’ love. The offering of our gift of self, which can be symbolized in the sacrificial gift put in the collection basket, is the essential act of the worship of God.