Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It isn’t an “Either Or” Game

It can be very tempting to dismiss the needs of others by claiming we have other obligations. We can’t feed the poor because we to build a new Narthex. Some say we shouldn’t expand the Church because we need to feed the poor. St John Chrysostom often wrote about the spiritual danger of having golden chalices while the poor were outside the Church starving. But he never suggested we had to choose between one and the other. Consider today’s Gospel reading...
Gospel Reading: Luke 11:42-46 (RSV) - The Lord said to the Jews who had come to him, "Woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market places. Woe to you! For you are like graves which are not seen, and men walk over them without knowing it." One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying this you reproach us also." And he said, "Woe to you lawyers also! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers."

The key words here are “These you OUGHT to have done WITHOUT neglecting the others.” Feeding the poor and tithing to the Church is not an either or but a both and. If we are going to live a life dedicated to Christ and His Church we must learn to tithe our income to His Church for the work and blessings of the Church while still doing the other important charitable work that calls our hearts.

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