October 19, 2014
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Just as people sought to trap Jesus, so today there are those who seek to trap us. Our sinfulness and hypocrisy are easy targets, a stumbling block to Christ’s mission. Knowing this, we seek forgiveness and strive to grow in prayer and holiness so that we may practice what we preach. For like Jesus, we too need to respond to the challenge from the Pharisees. How do we balance our allegiance between this worldly kingdom and the heavenly kingdom in our midst?
As members of the community, we do owe support to the government in their work for the common good. We’re also called to be obedient to civil laws as long as they don’t conflict with the law of God. But, and this is a huge BUT, as citizens of heaven we owe God everything! We, who bear God’s image, owe Him our very lives, all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. So how do we put this into practice?
We’ve heard the saying, “You can tell what’s really important to a person by how they spend their money.” While true, this only touches on one aspect of our stewardship of God’s gifts. What about, “You can tell what’s really important to a person by how they schedule their time.” Yes, our calendars are as revealing as our checkbooks and credit card statements. To love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and our neighbor as ourselves should be apparent by both how we spend our money and how we spend our time. Do we see prayer, worship, retreats, religious education and volunteer work scheduled into our calendars with the same frequency as work, recreation, entertainment and vacations? If not, this needs to change. We’re citizens of the kingdom. May all the world know what’s important to us and come to experience that Jesus is Lord of all!
I want to thank Jim Fuhrman for addressing us last weekend. Excellent job. As I mentioned in my homily, I also love tithing! I love the fact that since I began tithing I don’t worry about my finances anymore. Not only does the practice of tithing give me a greater sense of my responsibility for the ongoing mission, but it has deepened my trust in God’s love and care for me. Truly, God cannot be outdone in generosity. Like many others, 10% wasn’t enough of a sacrifice for me. So I doubled it. While one day’s pay a week is doable for me, I know of others that give much more. Still for some, 10% will seem like a stretch. Regardless, all of us can experience the joy and blessings of being conscientious tithers by starting somewhere. Prayerfully consider what your practice will be. Set a goal; put your faith into practice, and then trust God. You will not be disappointed. May your joy be complete!
Catechism Question of the Week: Jesus offended the teachers of the law by A) offering His interpretation alongside theirs, B) abolishing the law, C) affirming human traditions, D) declaring all food clean (see CCC 581-582)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: How do these two great commandments guide my life?
In Christ’s Peace,