From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For July 15, 2018

Last week I announced at Mass that the diocese is in the preparation stages of a capital campaign to raise money for seminarians and a couple other funds that the diocese needs to shore up. There are some priests who are comfortable talking about money, but I am not one of them. That being said, it is something that we need to talk about because, whether we like it or not, money matters. Over the next few bulletins I am going to be addressing money in our life of faith.

You are probably familiar with the notion of tithing. In the Old Testament, God commands the people of Israel to make various tithes of money and the produce of the land. The tithe was ten-percent of what a person grew or earned in a particular period (some tithes were over a year, others were over several years). It would be good to read and reflect on Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18:21-32, and Deuteronomy 14:22-29. There are other passages to read, but these set a good beginning.

The tithes had practical and spiritual purposes. Speaking practically, tithes were necessary to maintain the worship structure of the Old Covenant. The Levites, especially the priestly families of the tribe, did not work regular jobs. They offered sacrifice and took care of the Temple, and they lived off the tithes that people brought. Also, the Temple was an enormous structure that took years to build and had to be maintained. The tithes also formed the basis for helping the poor. These are very practical necessities.

The spiritual component of tithing has a few different aspects. First, there is the level of commitment. The requirement of tithing meant people had skin in the game. If you give money to something, you care more about it (unless it is that gym membership that you are still paying for but haven’t used in several months). God wants His people to care about the proper Temple worship and the care of the poor. He commands them to tithe so that they will be quite literally invested in it.

Tithing is also a serious form of sacrifice that helps to re-order our priorities. Money is important to us, whether we like to admit it or not. Next week we will get into this notion of money and why the sacrifice of money is so important.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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