Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tithing isn't enough

In today's Gospel, Our Lord remonstrates with the Pharisees:
“You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother, and Whoever curses father or mother shall die. Yet you say, ‘If someone says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is qorban”(meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”
--Mark 7:8-13

We are called to love and care for one another. As today's first reading from Genesis reminds us, each of us is made in the image and likeness of God. We are called to honor our parents, to visit the prisoner and to feed the hungry. We must act upon our love for our neighbor.

Many were rightly disgusted when the story broke recently of the pastor who left her waitress a receipt complaining that the waitress ought not to get a proper tip when we only tithe a tenth of our incomes to God. In today's Gospel, Our Lord reminds us that "qorban" offerings like tithing are far from enough. Every person we meet is our neighbor. How we treat the least of us is how we treat Christ.

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