From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For September 2, 2018

I hope you liked last week’s break from talking about money. I hope I am done with surprises for a while so we can finish this up soon. I know talking about money is no one’s favorite topic.

We left off last time recognizing that a lot of the money that we have is spent taking care of people. It is used to feed the hungry (especially those teenage boys) and clothe the naked (even though the little ones might really like running around with nothing on). All of this means that we are in some measure using the gifts God has given us to love as He has commanded us to love.

The first commandment, the greatest commandment, is to love God with all that we are. In the Bible, He has given us one way to do that with the commandment to tithe. Jesus expands on this with His call to sacrifice everything for the sake of the Gospel. But it doesn’t end there, because Jesus established the Church to carry on His mission and to help form faithful disciples.

In the current Code of Canon Law, which is the positive law established by the Church that governs our institutional life, there is a section entitled The Obligations and Rights of all the Christian Faithful, which means it applies to each and every member of the Church. Towards the end of this section is Canon 222§1, which states: “The Christian faithful are obliged to assist with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what is necessary for divine worship, for the works of the apostolate and charity, and for the decent support of ministers.”

You will notice that the Church does not define a set amount like the tithe (l0%). As with Jesus, though, the Church creates a pretty expansive goal. What is truly necessary for divine worship? Well, if we are going to do it well, there really is no limit to what we could and should strive to do in our worship of God. Chances are, everyone could name several things off the top of your head that we could be doing to evangelize, catechize, and bring our neighbors to Christ. Also, there are any number of ways we could be helping the poor in our midst. There is no set amount because there is always more we could be doing.

I think this is a good place to stop this week because this sort of aspirational approach to our life of faith is important. It is easy to get stuck in “Well, things are going fine just the way they are.” However, in any number of other areas in our lives we would never take that approach. We will strive for better, more perfect. We have an opportunity here to think about how we can strive for more, better, in our life of faith, our worship of God, the spread of the Gospel, and the care of the needy.

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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