Sunday 23 October 2022 – NOT SAFE WITH TITHE

30th Sunday of the Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Sirach 35:12–14, 16–18

The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.  Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed.  The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint. The one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right, and the Lord will not delay.

2nd Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6–8, 16–18

Beloved:  I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have competed well; I have finished the race;  I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.  At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me.  May it not be held against them!  But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed  and all the Gentiles might hear it.  And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom.  To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel: Luke 18:9–14

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.   “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,  ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity— greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’  But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

NOT SAFE WITH TITHE: Corruption is a form of dishonesty undertaken by a person to acquire illegal benefits for one’s private gain. Corruption on the surface appears as if it is benefiting a person, but in reality, it hurts the person. It makes a person miss what would benefit him/her in life.From the religious point of view, corruption in religion makes a person miss eternal life.Corruption in religion manifests itself in various ways, the most common one is when a person externally appears to be fulfilling religious obligations but is far from God. A person externally would be fasting twice a week, paying tithe and then think that by doing that, he/she will enter the kingdom of God even if his/her heart is far from God (Luke 18:12). Fasting and paying tithe alone cannot merit eternal life. A person who fasts and pays tithes, but does not acknowledge his/her position before God is trying to bribe God by his/her into external actions, and that is corruption. Paying tithe without internal conversion has no effects on the person’s relationship with God.

Prayer: Deliver all people from evil Lord so that they may enjoy your glory.

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LET GOD JUSTIFY: For faith to bear a worthwhile fruit, it must be practiced both internally and externally. Internally, a person must be convinced that God truly exists and believe in him. A person must be truly yearning to be united with God. A person must be truly convinced that before God he is nothing and acknowledge his weakness before God. A person with faith must be convinced that he has to strive to reach perfection. The internal conviction of faith must manifest itself externally. It is manifested in one’s lifestyle, leading others to God and not despising them, based on their virtues. Attending church services, giving offerings, and paying tithe alone do not make one holy before God. Our attitude towards God others is the key. One is truly justified if God justifies him.