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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

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Sirach 35:1-12
Psalm 50
Mark 10:28-31

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"Jesus answered, 'I give you My word, there is no one who has given up home, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children or property, for Me and for the gospel who will not receive in this present age a hundred times as many." —Mark 10:29-30

Many Christians have never given any money to the Church and God's works. Many apparent contributors are really robbers. The Lord through His word proclaims: "Dare a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! And you say, 'How do we rob You?' In tithes" (Mal 3:8). We do not give the ten-percent tithe, we pay it. "Pay your tithes in a spirit of joy" (Sir 35:8).

Jesus maintained: "You pay tithes on mint and rue and all the garden plants, while neglecting justice and the love of God. These are the things you should practice, without omitting the others" (Lk 11:42). We have no reason to think the Lord does not mean this literally. Therefore, a tithe is not an offering but a bill. If we do not pay our tithe, this is not a lack of generosity but a crime of robbery. If we pay nine percent of our income to God's kingdom, we actually are not contributors but robbers. We're just not robbing God as much as the others do.

We must go over ten percent even to begin giving. If we've never gone to eleven percent or more, then we've never given God  a cent. We've not sown sparingly to reap sparingly (2 Cor 9:6). We've not sown at all. No wonder we've not seen a sevenfold (Sir 35:10) or a hundredfold return (Mk 10:30), which our heavenly Father promises, not to mention the multiplication of our resources (2 Cor 9:8).

Prayer:  Father, rescue me from my selfishness and I will glorify you (Ps 50:15).

Promise:  "In generous spirit pay homage to the Lord, be not sparing of freewill gifts. With each contribution show a cheerful countenance." —Sir 35:7-8

Praise:  David has found that since he started tithing he is not so worried about his finances.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004

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