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Fr. Bob at pulpit during Easter Vigil

Stop Worrying, Then

They had another very clear word from God in this matter (tithing) as well. He promised to honour their faithfulness to the tithe. As they gave of their resources, he, in his turn, committed himself to making sure that their own needs were met. He promised that he would see to their being provided for. "Give to the most high," the word of God states, "as he has given to you, generously, and according to your means. For the Lord is one who always repays and will give back to you seven-fold." (Sirach 35:9-10) "bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And try me in this, says the Lord: shall I not open the floodgates of heaven to pour down blessings upon you without measure?" (Malachi 3:10)

It is worth noting that the Hebrew people to whom all this was addressed understood 'blessing' in a very material sense.

While we have no recorded words of Jesus in the matter of the tithe, neither do we hear him doing away with it. When he says: "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God" (Matthew 22:21), would his hearers not understand the tithe? That's what belongs to God, they would say. 

"He even restated that Lord's commitment to take care of those who were obedient to him. 'Stop worrying, then,' he said, 'over what you are to eat, or what you are to drink, or what you are to wear. The non-believers are constantly running after these things. But, your heavenly Father already knows you need all these things. So, seek first the kingdom of God, therefore, and all these other things will be provided for you.'" (Matthew 6:21-33)

The earliest members of the Church went even further than the ten percent. "Those who believed," Luke tells us, "shared all things in common. They would sell their property and goods, dividing everything on the basis of each one's needs." (Acts 2:44-45) This practice did not become universal in the Church, but it did serve as part of the inspiration for many of the religious communities that came later. 

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