The Evangelical Councils are poverty, chastity and obedience. Poverty is the “spirit” of poverty. Just as priests and religious are to embrace “evangelical simplicity,” so too are the laity. When the laity takes good council and detaches from material thing they are prepared to attach to spiritual things. Evangelization is a process of conversion. We all need to grow in our relationship with God. Letting go of things allows us to focus upon God. This has worked for centuries. Since the New Evangelization is here, we use what works.
In stewardship spirituality, treasure is focused upon how to let go. We do not have to let go of all of it, yet: we will when we die. We do not have to let go of half of it. Jesus asks us to let go of ten percent of our treasure. Jesus asks us not to neglect the ancient custom of biblical tithing. When the Israelites tithed, they rejected the worship of money and worshiped the God who saved them. When we tithe, we reject the worship of money and worship Jesus, our Lord and Savior. The world makes it sound like money will save us. No it will not! The poor are tricked into believing this lie. All of us are enticed by this lie. Money will not save us; it is not our savior! Jesus is our Savior and we offer him a thanksgiving sacrifice from our treasure.
This week we begin our Stewardship renewal of Treasure. Remember the spiritual practice that has worked for centuries. By embracing a spirit of poverty we embrace God. Let us fight against the lure of money and its worship. Let us worship the God who saves us and let us give thanks. Please come next weekend to make a treasure commitment.
Sincerely in Christ,
Very Reverend Andrew Kemberling, V.F.