Taking Stock of Ourselves in the Light of Our Faith
Jan 7, 2018
As we begin a new calendar year, its wholesome to ask ourselves the direction toward which we are headed with our lives. We are each closer to our eternal destiny than we’ve ever been before.
In and with the Birth of Jesus, God has given His all for us in order that we might experience His love and friendship here and now and enjoy His company with those who have loved Him forever when we die.
In response to God’s giving His all for us, we are called and challenged to offer 100% of all that we are and have for Him. This will come to expression in the priorities that we set for ourselves. Along this line, it is fitting to ask ourselves whom we are permitting or allowing to determine our priorities.
It is in the way that we spend the time, talents and treasure entrusted to us that we give expression to our priorities. On this weekend, the Gospel directs our attention to the treasure aspect of our response to the Lord. The wise men presented costly gifts to our new-born Savior. Their generosity challenges us to reflect upon the money that, for the time being, has been entrusted to us. How we spend our money indicates where our priorities are.
As our love for the Lord grows and deepens, based upon Scripture, we will be led to designate the first 10% of what we receive for the Lord’s on-going work in this world. As we strive on the basis of prayer to do this, this will influence our life-style.
We live in a world in which very quickly, yesterday’s luxuries become today’s necessities. We are pressured to believe that if we are to be happy and well-off, we have to have more and more of that which makes for the so-called good life. In the Birth of Jesus, God came and continues to live in the world in which we live. In this world, we have needs that can only be met with money or its equivalent.
Our Faith challenges us each day to ask ourselves whether a given request for our money is for a luxury or for a necessity, based upon how the Lord wants us to live.
As we honor the Lord by dedicating the first 10% of what we receive for His work in the world, we will grow in the ability to see more clearly what is a necessity and what is a luxury for ourselves from the Lord’s perspective. We can come to discover that we can get along quite well with a lot less. At the same time, we can become aware of creative ways to meet basic needs with the money that we do have.
If our giving for the Lord’s work is not presently at the level of 10%, we might resolve now to designate a given percent of what we presently receive for His work. Each year, on the basis of prayer, we might increase our giving by a given percentage until we arrive at 10%. When we reach the level of 10%, why stop there, inasmuch as the Lord is the Source of all that we are and have?
What can happen as, beginning with ourselves, more and more of us strive toward the goal of tithing? We can be at peace with ourselves in relating to the many demands for spending money that are placed upon us. On the parish level, as the spirit of sacrificial giving catches on, we will be able to significantly reduce the number of fund raisers that consume so much of our time and energy. We can use that time and energy to focus upon growing in our Faith and in witnessing of this to others.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor