We will start this morning with a few prayer requests. If you have any, please forward them to me and I will add them to this list…
from Phil Blahut: Please add my aunt, a Delpha Blahut, to your prayer list. She suffers from cancer that has invaded her throat and neck. She is a strong lady and a devout Catholic who is ready to accept God’s will for her. I only ask that our prayers will give her the courage and strength to endure her last days on earth, gracefully. Maybe God will keep her around a little more as she brings so much love and joy to all she meets.
from Jerry Dorhauer: Please add my nephew Jeffrey to your prayer list. Jeffrey got married over the weekend and is about to move on to his next step in becoming a Doctor. Pray for him, his new bride and their families that God blesses them in all they do.
Now about today’s reflection. I was leaving the district finals basketball game (Vianney vs. Webster Groves) last Friday night and I was listening to Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (hey, it tied in with Friday’s first reading) and was just letting my thoughts wonder when I heard another gentle whisper from the Holy Spirit. I don’t recall how my thoughts led me to tithing but nevertheless, they ended up there and this is what I want everyone to reflect on this morning.
Do you Tithe? Do you give to God from your “first fruits” or what is left over when you’ve saved for your retirement, paid your bills, gone out on your date night? Do you give to God only because you have to and not because you want to? Do you not give because you think that God doesn’t need my money – He’s God? My wife and I have always given to the Church…don’t nominate me for sainthood yet…my wife was much more faithful about this than I…at the beginning. After years of giving our money to the Church and numerous other charitable organizations, I slowing began to realize something. God always covered me…I think that bears repeating…God ALWAYS COVERED ME. I can’t tell you how many times our account balance neared zero and something would go wrong with the car or our kids had to get new glasses, braces, add anything else here you might think of…does this sound familiar to you? But no matter how dire our need was, something always came along at the exact time we needed that extra cash. We would be asked to play at a funeral, we would receive bonus check from work, I’d be asked to work overtime (which, at the time, would pay 1-1/2 of my base salary). God always provided a means by which we would be able to cover the unexpected expense.
At one point in my life I was an Amway distributor (ok, insert comments here…). I wasn’t very successful at it but part of being an Amway distributor was listening to motivational tapes. Some of the tapes were milktoast but others offered some very thought provoking insights, one of those I’ve never forgotten. The gentleman talking was a Baptist minister and he was speaking of tithing. It this thought that he offered that changed my entire thought process about tithing. God doesn’t need your money. In fact, when you give your money to God through tithing – He doesn’t keep any of it – He distributes it to those in need. He also added another comment. God doesn’t want your money – He wants your trust. He knows how desperately you can use that money but He also knows that if you give that money to Him, He will always provide for those in need – and that “those in need” might just be you. That simple insight is what put me over the “reluctant tither” to the “faithful tither” that I am today. Imagine that, I have Amway and a Baptist minister to thank for that.
Which brings me to my thought from Friday night. How many of us have our money saved in banks, credit unions, etc. that guarantees it is security? How many of us are invested in the stock market, IRA’s, etc. that can’t guarantee it’s security? I am here to suggest you invest in bank that not only will guarantee that your investment is put to good use but will also give you unexpected and fruitful returns. Invest your money in God’s bank. You won’t find a better way to use that money. Invest from your first fruits – make a practice that your first money spent is give to God before you spend it on anything else. I guarantee you if you do this faithfully, you will see the return on your investment – it may even be a monetary return. I implore you not do this expecting financial gain but pray your reward will be something more precious than gold, more precious than a 20% gain on your stock portfolio. Pray by doing this you gain God’s Trust, pray that by tithing, you play a part in the building of God’s kingdom here on earth.
God Bless…do something great for our Lord today.
Today’s Responsorial Psalm offers a great reflection today also…today’s readings