"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." —Luke 11:42
Our Father in heaven has given to us in an astounding way. "Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" (Jn 3:16). On the cross, Jesus even gave His life for us. In the Eucharist, He even gives us His body and blood. The Holy Spirit gives us life and love. God is the supreme Giver, and, as we imitate Him, we begin to understand "the words of the Lord Jesus Himself, Who said, 'There is more happiness in giving than receiving' " (Acts 20:35).
By tithing, we prepare to learn to give. Tithing is not giving; it is paying back to the Lord. However, tithing should lead to greater things, such as giving, justice, and love (see Lk 11:42). Tithing should lead to almsgiving (see Lk 11:41), and almsgiving is pleasing to the Lord only if it accompanies forgiving in thanksgiving to the Lord. Tithing should result in a triple chain-reaction of thanksgiving, forgiving, and almsgiving. Therefore, tithing must never be omitted (Lk 11:42).
Tithe. Obey God. Learn thanksgiving, forgiving, and almsgiving. Be like God. Live to give.
Prayer: Father, may I not rob You by refusing to tithe (Mal 3:8).
Promise: "He will repay every man for what he has done: eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing right; wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness." —Rm 2:6-8
Praise: St. Ignatius described himself as the "wheat of Christ." Because of his faith in Jesus, he was thrown to the lions in the Colosseum where he was martyred.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our book, The Bible on Money.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert A. Stricker, May 8, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 18, 2001