June 28, 2020

Dear Parishioners of St. James:

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Tithing is a word which means “tenth-ing.” In the Old Testament the Israelites were obliged to give 10% of their firstfruits to God. Because God provided everything, this first portion was returned to Him. God taught His people to acknowledge their dependence on Him as the Giver of all good gifts.

Jesus said quite a bit about tithing in the New Testament. He preached that our tithing should not be a public show (Mt. 6:1-4); that we should not neglect the “weightier matters of the law” after giving
our financial tithe (Lk. 11:42); that our giving of money should be accompanied by humility and an admission of our sins (Lk. 18:9-14). Our Lord used references to money many times in His public ministry both in parables and real life necessities as a test of one’s faithfulness and virtue.

Sacrificial financial giving is a sign of our gratitude to God and a necessary support for the work of providing divine worship, administration, and the teaching of the Faith that brings salvation. Since the coronavirus pandemic financial giving at St. James has suffered significantly. One person can only do his or her part. It takes one person at a time to embrace tithing as part of their spirituality. The heart has to be converted to the truth that money is an instrument to show gratitude to God as an act of sacrifice. Once a soul embraces this truth he or she will never go back to giving God the “leftovers.”
Sacrificial giving becomes a requirement of justice to the Lord Who provides the ability to return thanks.

Please consider giving God your first fruits. Consider how much the Lord has done for you and give Him thanks by giving financially God deserves the best as an act of sacrifice and praise. Your faith will certainly grow as you give back to God what belongs to Him: your trust in His providence. Thank you for your support.

God bless you,
Fr. Geary

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL