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Conversion Discipleship Faith Formation Ink Slingers Jesus Is Lord Jesus Is Lord course Martina Series

Jesus Is Lord: Intentional Discipleship and Commissioning {week 10}

week10Welcome to the Jesus is Lord series! This course offered for adults at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

If this is your first time visiting this series, I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the series introduction that will give a clear picture of the purpose and content of the Jesus Is Lord course. The introduction post not only outlines the course, but goes over the motivation to share in this class on the internet. 

Today is the LAST CLASS! Last week’s class was about Jesus is Lord of My Sexuality

INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP

Father Dean gave a concluding talk on intentional discipleship and our parish with respect to stewardship and mission, and the New Evangelization.  

He read a snippet from Blessed John Paul II’s Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in America:

How can we fail to emphasize the role which belongs to the Virgin Mary in relation to the pilgrim Church in America journeying towards its encounter with the Lord? Indeed, the Most Blessed Virgin “is linked in a special way to the birth of the Church in the history … of the peoples of America; through Mary they came to encounter the Lord”.(18)

Throughout the continent, from the time of the first evangelization, the presence of the Mother of God has been strongly felt, thanks to the efforts of the missionaries. In their preaching, “the Gospel was proclaimed by presenting the Virgin Mary as its highest realization. From the beginning — invoked as Our Lady of Guadalupe — Mary, by her motherly and merciful figure, was a great sign of the closeness of the Father and of Jesus Christ, with whom she invites us to enter into communion”.(19)

The appearance of Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization.(20) Its influence greatly overflows the boundaries of Mexico, spreading to the whole Continent. America, which historically has been, and still is, a melting-pot of peoples, has recognized in the mestiza face of the Virgin of Tepeyac, “in Blessed Mary of Guadalupe, an impressive example of a perfectly inculturated evangelization”.(21) Consequently, not only in Central and South America, but in North America as well, the Virgin of Guadalupe is venerated as Queen of all America.(22)

With the passage of time, pastors and faithful alike have grown increasingly conscious of the role of the Virgin Mary in the evangelization of America. In the prayer composed for the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, Holy Mary of Guadalupe is invoked as “Patroness of all America and Star of the first and new evangelization”. In view of this, I welcome with joy the proposal of the Synod Fathers that the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother and Evangelizer of America, be celebrated throughout the continent on December 12.(23) It is my heartfelt hope that she, whose intercession was responsible for strengthening the faith of the first disciples (cf. Jn 2:11), will by her maternal intercession guide the Church in America, obtaining the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as she once did for the early Church (cf.Acts 1:14), so that the new evangelization may yield a splendid flowering of Christian life.

Stewardship – in order to make that transition, it’s a substantial leap going from ownership to stewardship. We live in a capitalistic society…that’s not the paradigm that we should be living by. We are caretakers of the gifts that God has entrusted us to. And we have the freedom to not be incarcerated by all we own that we can do exactly as Christ wants us to.

Father Dean finds himself over the years at St. William using the words intentional disciples more and more and in various contexts, from parishioners to the office staff. And, from that perspective, we want to do things with intentionality. If St. William hires a new position i.e. coordinator for volunteers, we don’t just want to form volunteers, but rather we want to form and sustain them. He believes those in attendance this evening {the room is filled with JIL attendees and elective course attendees who are JIL graduates} are the ripest crop of those who are able to commit themselves intentionally to Christ to use their gifts and talents to benefit our institution, the Catholic Church, not just St. William but the body of Christ.

 

The harvest is great, but the laborers are few – let’s change that.

We don’t want warm bodies to fill tasks, but rather

follow through with intentionality and purpose.

 

This evening we have our volunteer coordinator here – he has created a survey for volunteers and to find ways to play to their gifts and talents, their charisms. How is the best way we can care for these gifts and grow them so that they can flourish?

It is his desire, hope, and prayer that whatever we do as a parish community that we do it with a sense of intentionality. That things don’t happen by accident…let’s desire to do the work of the Church – Go and make disciples of all nations…Jesus’ first and foremost command was to go make disciples.

“We want to improve future semesters. We want that continued desire to encourage or suggest…Father Dean jokes perhaps we can strong arm ONE other person to come and give Jesus Is Lord a try for next semester. Our parish is over 6000 families and continues to grow. We have a great harvest before us. And you are the laborers, not being formed accidentally, but intentionally.”

It’s amazing to Father Dean to be pastor and to sit back and think about how God is working in this community. Definitely in ways he’s never seen before in his 25 years of priesthood. He commends everyone for their dedication and intentionality to be disciples that Christ has asked us to be.

Thank you and encourage others to explore opportunities to grow in their faith and the Kerygma, the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

COMMISSIONING

At this time, Father Uche came up and explains the invitations and their purpose. Attendees are encouraged to prayerfully decide how many invitations they would like to take, no less than one invite and as many as they think would like to come to graduation next week. Attendees walk to the front and take the number of invites they’d like and then form a circle around the entire room. Yes, this is a LOT of people! Father Uche then takes holy water and blesses these invitations and the attendees in their commissioning of bringing the next group of JIL attendees in for the January session. Here are a few pictures from the commissioning.

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PERPETUAL HOMEWORK 

Though the class has now ended, you can continue with daily homework in the form of praying each day read. Reflect on the daily readings or the reflections from One Bread, One Body. You can access them by going to the USCCB’s website OR you can download the Laudate app {available on iPhones and Android}. The One Bread, One Body reflections can be accessed through the Laudate app by going through Daily Readings => Reflections.

For more reflection, click to download Praying with Scripture.

 

CONCLUSION

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank You:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

 

 

Categories
Conversion Discipleship Faith Formation Ink Slingers Jesus Is Lord Jesus Is Lord course Martina Series

Jesus Is Lord of My Sexuality {Week Nine}

SEXUALITYchrist-king3Welcome to the Jesus is Lord series! This course offered for adults at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

If this is your first time visiting this series, I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the series introduction that will give a clear picture of the purpose and content of the Jesus Is Lord course. The introduction post not only outlines the course, but goes over the motivation to share in this class on the internet. 

Today’s class is about Jesus is Lord of My Sexuality. Last week’s class was about Jesus is Lord of My TreasureIf you would prefer to watch this class, please scroll to the bottom. Keep in mind the recorded classes are not from our current class and contain testimonies from different people presented in the text below. Check back next week for the final installment which will cover Intentional Discipleship & The Commissioning. 

TEACHING & SCRIPTURE

 

With all the expertise in the parish on this topic, Father Uche jokes that he doesn’t understand how he gets stuck with the talk on sex. 😉

So, he throws out two words. And we’re going to play Word Association.

Catholic Church + Sex

no

sacred

scandal

marriage

guilt

chastity

birth control

NFP

Rhythm method

Outdated

Think about it. If we have these knee-jerk reactions and we are Catholics in the Church who know what’s going on, can you imagine how the average person outside the Church thinks of those two words?

STORY. Father Uche shares an incident while he was doing his Spanish immersion. There was a German lady at breakfast each day who he noticed did not say grace. He asked if he could say grace with her, and she rejected him. I guess she’s not Catholic, he thought. What church do you go to? She said she didn’t believe anything. For this poor boy from Nigeria {his words}, this was earth shattering. Where he comes from, everyone believes in something, even if it’s something like a rock…or his microphone.

Well, she took him to the cleaners – took him on a tear about the Catholic Church and said it was mysoginistic and homophobic.

Everything she said about the Church sounded horrible.

His response was something along the lines of well, some of the things you said…yes, are true. That part is true. But do you know why we do that?

And there was a long silence.

People have that reaction to the Catholic Church, but they rarely know why they have the reaction they do.

 We need to challenge people to go beyond the surface of the Church.

 Why do people think the Church is…outdated?

The idea that the Church says NO to sex…could not be further from the truth.

Do you know why?

Father Uche says if you look at a parish like St. William and compare us to the average American family, I think we have a couple more kids than everybody else. And we know…they don’t just arrive in the mail. So…there is a process in place. There is a plan. Somebody has given us a directive on how we are able to do things.

We have {already learned that we need} to live a Christian life that is complete and comprehensive. If we understand the underlying foundation of making Jesus the Lord of our life, then it naturally affects all aspects of our life. If you disagree there is a plan and that we are all here by accident, then whatever you say might make sense. BUT, if you believe and AGREE that there is a design and a plan…that there is an order, then we have to live according to that plan.

EXAMPLE. Father Uche drives a Chevy Malibu and it serves him well. And he loves beer…two kinds – Guinness and the rest! Guess what? He loves Guiness so much that that is what he is going to put that in his gas tank.

What will happen?

Attendees: You can’t do that!

Are you going to tell me I can’t put beer in my car? Who are you to tell me I can’t do that?

 What is your reaction?

 You’re stupid.

You’re a bad person.

Your car will break.

It won’t go far.

It’s a waste of beer.

Putting beer in is not part of the design of the car.

Father Uche: That’s your opinion. I don’t care, I will do what I want. You, with your gasoline-based morality are trying to dictate to me what I should put in my car.

 

And that is the same thing that happens with the human body.

BUT, we are different than some mass-produced Chevy Malibu.

 

Do you think God is at least smart enough to know how our bodies work? God says I know what will make you happy and what will make you break down – do this, this, this, not that, this, etc.

If a dumb guy is going to put Guinness in his car, you could just let him…

If we want our car to work optimally, we have to treat it the way it’s meant to work.

It’s sad the amount of ignorance there is on THIS topic {of sexuality}.

 

Hosea 4:6 My people perish for want of knowledge! Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from my priesthood; Since you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your sons.

 

This Scripture has notable application on our topic this evening. When God made us, He gave us an owner’s manual – do this and don’t do that.

 

When people talk about the Church and sex…ordinarily, we wouldn’t care what’s going on down on Sixth Street, but our attitude should be concern for others.

The Secular Response – Get the pope out of my bedroom. But, if we are prophets to bring the message of Jesus Christ to others, that will make you happy. The response wouldn’t be one of demanding the pope get out of our bedroom. The secular worldview is one in which the Catholic Church doesn’t want you to have fun, but the reality is that the Church wants you to have fun that doesn’t hurt you…fun that will last.

Look at my body, Father Uche says.

{immature crowd}

 The word body causes people to snicker.

STORY. He saw a billboard one day with a provocative woman. The ad was selling…SHOES. Seriously?? was his response. That’s what you’re selling me? SHOES???? Who is the genius that came up with that marketing?? It took him 70% of the time he looked at it to figure out it was for shoes.

Women love shoes! They don’t need the extra stuff in advertisements. When ads are suggestive and provocative, all we see is is that person sexy? Is she hot or not?

That is not how we should look at the human body. I cannot get to know who someone is except through their body. The body is much more than what our culture tries to tell us. Our culture tries to degrade our bodies.

St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:20 For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.

Your body is much more than what our culture tries to tell us that it is. 

Romans 12:1 I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.

When we look at the human body, we see something that is much more than physical. This is the body that will be RAISED. This is the body which will be with God forever. Sometimes we think this body is rotten and corrupt and only our soul will go to heaven – this is WRONG. We believe in {and profess each week at Mass} the resurrection of the body.

 We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial
of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

 

Your soul and your body go hand in hand. We are not spirits trapped in our bodies.

We are made for communion with another. If a martian observed us, it would notice that there are two basic types of human beings based on how we walk, talk, look. It would notice that these two types like to be together. It is something that is hardwired in us, that we are not created for ourselves…we are created for communion. Even in the sexual realm.

No one is created to be self sufficient.

God designed it such that you need the other person.

 

You need someone else to complement you.

Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.”

The sharing is special when it comes to sex. God says this is SO special that we are meant to share it with ONE other human being. Sex is SO good that we become co-creators with Him.

 God made man and woman to complement

each other sexually and it was not a mistake.

It was a plan.

Blessed John Paul II tells us something along the same lines when he talks about the nuptial meaning of the body, spousal giving of oneself. And because of that, there is a secret glow in your heart that comes alive with joy because you are fulfilling one of the reasons you were created. We are made to give ourselves to other people. And in this communion, the man and the woman are perfectly matched, designed for each other.

But, just like anything in creation, this plan of God can be abused. St. Augustine says, evil is always the absence of good.

The devil cannot create.

The devil cannot make anything.

All he does is destroy what God is already made.

The same thing with sex. Human sexuality is amazing. Sex is so awesome that without it, none of us would be here today! It’s good, but knowing that it is good, means knowing it can be used for evil. Any good faculty can be used for evil.

The self gift has to be FREE. The freedom of the self-giving reflects God’s freedom in loving us. Because the love between a man and a woman reflects the love that God has for us, that He chose to love us freely.

The self gift has to be TOTAL.

It has to be FAITHFUL because it reflects the love between God and Israel. The Church is always referred to as the Bride of Christ. He is always faithful to His Bride.

It has to be FRUITFUL. It is not an option to say I don’t want that one. God intends for this self gift to bear fruit. God is always pouring out His gifts to us. He is pouring out for you and I.

Father Uche touches briefly on

Annulments:

It is not Catholic divorce. There is NO such thing as a Catholic divorce.

We believe no human being has the power to break up what God joined. But sometimes consent can be lacking. If a marriage lacks any of the four qualities {free, total, faithful, fruitful} BEFORE the marriage, that’s when an annulment can occur. There was a defect at the root, and one of the essential qualities was lacking.

Contraception:

There is a risk we run when we condemn others for using it, but we have to acknowledge the plan for our lives. There is an order to our lives…and it’s difficult, and it’s tough, but it’s possible. Father Uche issues a challenge for us to investigate the Church’s position and why the Church says no to contraception and the contraceptive mentality.

It goes against the fundamental plan God has in place for us. Does this mean that the Church says you SHOULD have 30 children? No, not necessarily. The Church wants you to be a responsible steward of your sexuality.

Analogy: using contraception is like giving God disinvitation to a wedding party. You can’t invite everyone because your resources are limited. So, you invite 50…but then you send a DISINVITATION to the ones who can’t come. Here’s where it’s going to be, but you are NOT welcome. You send them all the juicy details and then tell them they can’t come. There is a difference between not inviting someone and then flat out disinviting them.

Natural Family Planning: It is not Catholic contraception. It’s all in the motive. Contraceptive mentality says to God we’re going to engage in this act, but we don’t want a child. Just as with the challenge to research the Church’s position on contraception, go and investigate what the Church says about Natural Family Planning. Learn about it and make an informed decision. The science proves the efficacy of NFP.

TESTIMONY

Scroll down to the bottom and click on the link to the St. William Adult Faith Formation page – it will load up the class on sexuality. At the 55:00 mark, the testimony will begin. This is from a previous semester.

Q&A

  1. What is the Church’s stance on medical sterilizations in the scenario where pregnancy is likely to cause death of the mother? That is an area that is still contentious among some circles. The Church exists for life. We are not going to put the mother in a situation that would cost her her life. Having said that, sterilization is not the only way to go. It is always about preserving life. The Church never actively supports abortion. In the process of saving a life, something else happens, then the principle of double effect occurs. The primary action was to save a life, not cause the loss of a life. We respect the opinions of doctors, but when they suggest something that goes against our beliefs, we need to take that to prayer in how to respond.
  2. What is the Church’s view on getting a tubal or vasectomy? The answer is simple. It is not open to life. It is not permissible. It does not allow the husband and wife to fully consent to one another in the sexual act, so it is prohibited for that reason as well.
  3. How do I handle my dealings with the children raised by homosexual family members with love and compassion? You have to love people authentically. When you really love people, and they know you love them and you are being honest with them and they know who you are? When it comes time for difficult things to be discussed, they may not agree with you or accept what you’re saying at that point, but knowing in the back of their mind who you are and that you love them and that you have not judged them before, it is easier to take in what you have to say. IF you are a person who is always harping on them about their misgivings, then you will be seen as being judgmental. What I would recommend is that you pray about it. This is one of those times when Jesus says He will give you the words to say. Continue to ask the Holy Spirit for inspiration and just love them. Without love, you won’t be able to get through. God Himself does love them.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

  • PRAYER
  • QUESTIONS
    1. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE DAY OF THE HOMEWORK?
    2. ANY COMMENTS ON PRAYING FOR YOUR PARTNER?
    3. WHAT STRUCK YOU ABOUT THE PRESENTATION?
  • HOMEWORK 

Each day from here on out through the rest of the class you will read and reflect on the daily readings or the reflections from One Bread, One Body. You can access them by going to the USCCB’s website OR you can download the Laudate app {available on iPhones and Android}. The One Bread, One Body reflections can be accessed through the Laudate app by going through Daily Readings => Reflections.

For more reflection, click to download Praying with Scripture.

 

SUMMARY

Homework is to be done daily – reflect on Scripture and Jesus is Lord of My Sexuality through the week. If you are in a group, pair up two or three and commit to pray daily for your prayer partner. Small groups come together for a few minutes of question and answer in the large group. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the combox below so that we can help in any way possible.

CONCLUSION

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank You:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

OPTIONS: If you would like to watch, please visit the St. William Adult Faith Formation page to watch the previously recorded class.

 

 

Categories
Conversion Discipleship Faith Formation Ink Slingers Jesus Is Lord Jesus Is Lord course Martina Series

Jesus Is Lord of My Treasure {Week Eight}

TREASUREchrist-king3Welcome to the Jesus Is Lord series, a course offered for adults at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

If this is your first time visiting this series, I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the series introduction that will give a clear picture of the purpose and content of the Jesus Is Lord course. The introduction post not only outlines the course, but goes over the motivation to share in this class on the internet. 

Today’s class is about Jesus is Lord of My Treasure. Last week’s class was about Jesus is Lord of My TimeIf you would prefer to watch this class, please scroll to the bottom. Keep in mind the recorded classes are not from our current class and contain testimonies from different people than that which is presented in the text below. Check back next week which will cover Jesus is Lord of my Sexuality. 

TEACHING & SCRIPTURE

RECAP from last week: Jesus is Lord of my Time – Sunday Mass, confession, daily prayer time. Father Uche showed us a way to incorporate the daily Scriptures into that daily prayer time.

Today, we are going to look at a passage gives us a general biblical principle before we can make Jesus Lord of our Treasure.

Mark 12:41-44 He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”

Jesus is interested in what we put in the collection.

In those days they didn’t have a collection basket – they had one giant piggy bank for all to see. He was watching what people put in – one put in “$100” “$20.” Then, this old woman puts in a couple of coins worth about one penny. Jesus wants to make sure his disciples see this because He wants to make a point. It’s possible Matthew the tax collector might have taken issue with the woman’s contribution because it’s clearly less than the others put in.

What we put in the collection is an outward expression of an inner condition.

Jesus is looking first at the inner condition.

Where are you at with the Lord?

How do you see the money and stuff you own?

Let’s take a closer look at the biblical definition of a widow.

1Tim 5:3,5,9 Honor widows who are truly widows…The real widow, who is all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day…Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years old, married only once…

A woman’s husband has died, she must be over 60 and have no other family to take care of her. This is what defines a widow. The widow was in a position of truly giving all she had to the Lord. If tonight, I’m going to have a roof over my head, the Lord is going to provide it. …warm clothes…

And she has only one penny…and she gives from her need – all she has comes from the Lord.

And that is where we need to be in our approach toward the Lord.

The others, even though they were giving more money, were giving from their spare. The mentality is I work for my money, so it’s mine. I earned it.

If that’s where we are, then our inner condition is not correct. The inner condition is very important.

Our approach should be if it weren’t for the Lord, I couldn’t get out of bed, have the ability to perform my job. I couldn’t get a job…if it wasn’t for the Lord.

The question isn’t how much you give – the question is are you giving from your need?

Noe initially responded I need it all! I’ve got five kids!

In Scripture, a measure is given so that anybody and everybody can give from their need.

Malachi 3:6-10 Thus says the Lord, “I am the Lord, and I do not change. And so you, the descendants of Jacob, are not yet completely lost. You, like your ancestors before you, have turned away from my laws, and have not kept them. Turn back to me, and I will turn to you. But you ask, “what must we do to turn back to you?” I ask you, is it right for a person to cheat God? Of course not, yet you are cheating me. “How??” you ask. In the matter of tithes and offerings. A curse is on all of you because the whole nation is cheating me. Bring the full amount of your tithes to the Temple, so that there will be plenty of food there. Put Me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour on you in abundance all kinds of good things.”

Notice that God says to put Him to the test!

The pattern of tithing 10% of household income two generations before in Scripture was lacking – the Israelites would try and tithe. They had 40 lambs, so they would give 4 to the Lord and take them to the temple. But they wouldn’t give their best lambs, they would pick the poorest and sickliest ones. The next generation saw that and said I’m not going to be a hypocrite, I’m just not going to give anything. Tithing was beyond their scope, so God tells them to tithe so He can bless them and challenges them to test Him.

EXAMPLE. Father O’Malley gave talks about the rosary, frequent confession, tithing to a group of 300 Mexicans…and in his {Noe’s} culture, what you put in the collection is called limosa – what you give the beggars. That’s how the Israelites dealt with God…like a beggar.

I’m going to give this to you and you better be happy that I did!

Father O’Malley was very pragmatic in his teaching. It’s real simple – you take the decimal point and move it over two places.

At the time, Noe was putting $5 in the collection…or $22.50/month. However, after hearing Father O’Malley’s talk, he realized he was shorting God $21. Noe came to Mass with a brand new shirt that cost $20 and he felt disconnected and couldn’t place why…then it dawned on him and he understand why he was disconnected. He had bought the shirt with His money – with God’s money. At that point, he was convicted and was ready to tithe, but had questions.

Is this tithing thing retroactive?

Fortunately, the Lord does not take ignorance into consideration, so it’s not retroactive, but now you know!

Father O’Malley said the next time income comes in, just write a check for 10%. That seemed like a good idea until Noe’s check came in…and it was TERRIBLE. He considered it HIS money. But, he did it and he put the Lord to the test and he hasn’t looked back since. He lived for five years on donations with five kids, serving the poor in Mexico and they never went hungry, they even paid for one child to be born in Mexico. They always had what they needed, and the biggest blessing was not money, but in their kids. They’re all content – they were ok with going to Goodwill and knowing how much they could afford. The Lord saw fit to bless their children with full scholarships to college, one of whom has a Ph.D.

Once, Noe did this teaching – not at St. William – and one of the guys said he read in Scripture that we decide what to give and to give it cheerfully.

2 Corinthians 9:2,7 for I know your eagerness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia 2 has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them…Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Someone else said that Jesus never talked about tithing, but we see in

Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TITHING AND OFFERING

Tithing – We don’t give the tithe, we pay it – it’s like the light bill. You don’t get excited about it. You pay to God because it is owed. God decides the amount – 10%

Offering – You give an offering. And you decide how much you give this organization, etc. You offer to the brothers. YOU decide the amount.

If you’ve never heard this teaching before, you might have a lot of questions.

Q. Is this from the gross or the net?

Sometimes the offering and the tithes clash – there can be a gray area – that’s why it’s critical to make Jesus Lord of my Time so you can take it to prayer and see what He says. Your tithing and offerings won’t look like what Noe is doing, it’ll be what God wants you to do.

Q. Can paying for Catholic school be considered part of my tithe?

Ask the Lord!

EXAMPLE. His daughter earned some money. She took it to prayer and decided to give 5% to a family member in need and the rest to the church. This is what God revealed to her in prayer, and so it is with us. If you are unsure how to divide up our tithe or offering, take it to prayer!

Q. What if my 10% is not being properly allocated? {someone gave an example of what’s going on in Germany}

Noe shares that his approach is that he is not giving it to a priest, or a church, but directly to God. Once he has given his 10% to God, it is up to the person to whom it was given to render an account with God on how it was allocated.

Q. Is it a sin not to tithe…is God’s love incumbent upon our tithe?

This question comes from a sincere heart – God’s love is not incumbent on tithe. He loves us simply because we are His children, not for what we do, but who we are. God’s blessings come through the tithe, though. It’s not a sin to not tithe, if you’re in a state of ignorance!

EXAMPLE. If the Lord tells me to forgive my spouse, and I refuse to forgive, is it a sin? YES. If the Lord tells you to tithe and you don’t do it, you are disobeying. A blessing is something that brings you closer to the Lord – and sometimes they can come disguised as both good and terrible things that happen to us.

Q. What if one spouse wants to give and the other doesn’t?

If you’re married, the wife OR the husband can not decide to tithe – you have to come together prayerfully to decide.

EXAMPLE. The wife was a school administrator and the husband was a coach. She went home and TOLD her husband they were going to start tithing, and he objected. So, they didn’t. She continued to feel called to tithe, but he didn’t want to. So, she came up with a solution – she would tithe from her check.

Tithing is the antidote to greed.

Q. Building a new parish and you give a generous gift – raising funds to build it. It goes beyond your tithe for three years, does that count as a tithe for three years?

Yes, possibly. But, in all this, do whatever the Lord tells you. Take it to prayer. When the parish puts out a financial report, it shouldn’t affect our tithe if we don’t like where the money is being spent. We are giving the money to the Lord.

Q. Is the 10% broken up among church, diocese, and other charities?

The Lord will place it on your heart where the 10% should go. It’s not cut and dry, the important thing is that you are praying everyday and you are doing what He is asking you to do.

Q. Can an offering be in the form of your time?

No, because we are addressing the monetary side.

Q. Wife stays and home {does not work} and husband works – can the wife ask the working spouse to tithe?

As stated above, the couple needs to come together prayerfully to decide what to give.

Q. Is tithing related directly to YOUR church and no other? Do you give it to the parish where you are registered to or some other place?

The parish where you receive your sacraments should get a good chunk of your tithe, but not necessarily the whole 10%.

EXAMPLE. In 1988, the priest where Noe worked, sent him to a community where he work with families. Because he was there once a month and ministering, he wanted to give half of his tithe to this other location. So, he went to the head coordinator and the coordinator said give it all to the parish. The priest said to give it all to the community. Noe ended up giving 5% to each.

Q. If you donate a vehicle to the church, like St. Vincent de Paul, or giving to the homeless –  is that considered tithing or offering?

It’s considered an offering.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

  • PRAYER
  • QUESTIONS
    1. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE DAY OF THE HOMEWORK?
    2. ANY COMMENTS ON PRAYING FOR YOUR PARTNER?
    3. WHAT STRUCK YOU ABOUT THE PRESENTATION?
  • HOMEWORK 

Each day from here on out through the rest of the class you will read and reflect on the daily readings or the reflections from One Bread, One Body. You can access them by going to the USCCB’s website OR you can download the Laudate app {available on iPhones and Android}. The One Bread, One Body reflections can be accessed through the Laudate app by going through Daily Readings => Reflections.

For more reflection, click to download Praying with Scripture.

 

SUMMARY

Homework is to be done daily – reflect on Scripture and Jesus is Lord of My Treasure through the week. If you are in a group, pair up two or three and commit to pray daily for your prayer partner. Small groups come together for a few minutes of question and answer in the large group. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the combox below so that we can help in any way possible.

CONCLUSION

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank You:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

OPTIONS: If you would like to watch, please visit the St. William Adult Faith Formation page to watch the previously recorded class.