From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For July 22, 2018

We pick up our discussion about money and tithing with the value of money and sacrifice. By the value of money, I do not mean the monetary value, which changes over time. Rather, money has personal value. Money can seem to give us a lot of security and freedom, and it can be one of the foundations of our sense of self.

Money seems to give us freedom because the more money we have, the more we can do. If you have enough money in the bank, you can choose between going on vacation, remodeling your home, or any number of other things. Even within specific choices, money gives us freedom. The more money you have the better phone you can buy, or you can eat out at better restaurants.

Money also can seem to bring us security. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, or have lived so, you know how stressful the lack of money can be. One thing going wrong, a tire blowing out on a car or a water heater needing to be replaced, can seem to topple the whole structure of your lives. It can seem that the more money you have, the less you need to worry about the problems of life. Things will go wrong, but you can handle them much more easily and without the whole structure of your life being in jeopardy.

There is a third aspect to money that relates it to sacrifice, and that is connection between wealth and ego. Humans are hierarchical creatures, and we rank ourselves and each other, either in explicit terms, as in a caste or feudal system, or in implicit terms, and we often do so in terms of wealth. Whether we like to think of it or not, we all have a decent sense of the relative standing of the people around us, often because of externals like cars and clothing, and it is easy to put people in different categories, including ourselves.

I am not saying that any of the above realities are good, just that they are the way we humans generally work. Because we generally work this way, money can occupy a large portion of our lives. It is not that money is bad, it just tends to have these effects.

It is because of this reality that God asks for a sacrifice of money. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and when He commanded a tithe from the Israelites, He was asking for a very serious sacrifice from them. We will pick upon this sacrifice next week.

 

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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