Tithing 10 Percent…
The practice of tithing 10 percent has its roots with Abraham:
See how great he is to whom the patriarch “Abraham (indeed) gave a tenth” of his spoils. The descendants of Levi who receive the office of priesthood have a commandment according to the law to exact tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, although they also have come from the loins of Abraham. But he who was not of their ancestry received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had received the promises. -Hebrews 7:4-6, NAB
Undoubtedly, the least popular homilies each year come when local priests speak on tithing, but without our financial gifts, the Church would not be able to thrive. And with nothing to gain of my own, I want to reinforce that message.
For years, I have heard that tithing 10 percent was the standard – a standard that, quite honestly, I fail to live up to. Whether we live up to it or not, we find its Biblical roots in today’s verse, and it goes all the way back to Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation.
Do we have to give 10 percent just to our parish or diocese? I don’t think so. Tithing is tithing. The idea is that you are giving a part of your earnings back to God in some way, so that gift can go to your local parish, food bank, homeless shelter, or any other worthy source. Still, the Church needs our donations to continue its mission, so I believe our tithing should begin there.
Obviously, we have to give within our means. No one is asking you to give so much that you cannot provide your kids their next meal; however, our tithing should help to develop our faith by stretching the limits of our pocketbooks.
Remember this, without God’s blessing on your life, you would not have any money at all, so you are only giving back a portion of what was given to you in the first place. You are thanking God for the gifts He has given you, regardless of how large or small they may be.
Tithing our financial gifts is never a popular topic, but the Church needs that money to continue spreading the Gospel to the four corners of the earth. Give back to God (and the Church) what you can, and you will surely receive blessings in return.