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Fr. Bob at pulpit during Easter Vigil

Our Relationship with Him Comes First

The Father's plan to save his people has been to send his Son to earth to become one of us, to take our sins upon himself, and to bear them to the Cross. With the death of Jesus, eternal salvation became a possibility for everyone. On our part, entering personally into that salvation involves repentance and making Jesus Lord. 

"Our faith, of which our religion is the expression, is essentially, first and foremost, a relationship with a person, the person of Jesus Christ. We are called, for sure, to be members of his Church and to place our lives in his order. But our relationship with him comes first. It is the Father's desire that Jesus be Lord of each one's life." 

Making Jesus my only Lord means submitting to him in all things, big and small. He is my Master. I do what he says. He asks that I place everything in my life under his command, that I make everything available to him. And, that means everything... but everything. Including some things that I may be rather touchy about - like my money. 

We surely know that citizenship in the Lord's kingdom calls from us, among other things, concrete support for his work. Our of the resources that he has blessed is with, some financial participation is in order. That would seem to go without saying. But, how much should we give? How much does he want?

God's Old Testament people had a very clear word from God about this. He asked for a very specific portion of all they possessed. "Each year," Moses told the people, "you shall tithe all the produce that grows in the field you have sown." (Deuteronomy 14:22) In those days, money was not in such regular use as it is today. Barter was more common. Most of the people had only what their land produced or what they manufactured. So, they bartered, or traded, what they had in exchange for what they needed. The 'tithe' that Moses spoke of was to be given to support those who worked full-time for God and to take care of the expenses attached to the upkeep of their places of worship. And the tithe the lord required of them was a full ten percent. 

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