From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For July 29, 2018

Last week we reflected on the role money can have in our sense of freedom, security, and ego. The more money we have, the freer and more secure we can feel. The greater our wealth, the greater our social standing seems, and our sense of self in relation to others.

When the Lord commands a sacrifice of ten percent of our income in the form of a tithe, He is directly addressing these spiritual realities. Beginning with the sense of freedom, while it is true that we have a free will, we are not free to do whatever we want. We are limited creatures who were made to serve. We have a free will so that we might freely give ourselves back to God in love, that we might serve Him in love. The tithe is a tangible way humans can express the right order in their relationship with God, that God is Lord. It is an act of faith and humility.

When we tithe, we are also giving up some of our security. If more money makes us feel more secure, giving up some of that money means we are going to feel in some measure less secure. This is an important lesson because ultimately nothing in this world is secure. No matter how hard we try, how well we live, we will all die, and there is nothing in this world to stop that. Our greatest accomplishments will fail, and we will be relegated to history, if we are even remembered a couple generations from now.

There is only one true hope: Jesus Christ. He has already conquered death, and in Him we can have the richest life for all eternity. The only real security is our God, Who has promised an eternal dwelling place where thieves cannot break in and steal, where we will share in the infinite riches of the Creator for eternity. Tithing is a tangible exercise of that virtue of hope, of our confidence in God, not in the things of this world.

Tithing also addresses our sense of self, or ego. We all want to have a good sense of self, but there is no weaker foundation for a sense of self than in money and the things of this world. Money can be lost and stolen; we can become poor through no fault of our own. Nothing in this world is a sure foundation; only God can be. He made us in His image and likeness. God loves us; He died for us on the Cross. He made us His children through baptism, and He has given us an eternal destiny. Only God’s fatherly care truly tells us who we are and our real worth. The sacrifice of the tithe is our continual commitment to find our real self in relationship with God.

This is by no means the end, but we will pick up from here 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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