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Sirach 35:12-13 Give to the Most High as he has given to you, and as generously as you can afford. For the Lord is the one who repays, and he will repay you sevenfold.
I remember a priest who told me he was ashamed because he could not tithe. He had struggled his whole life to financially support his two children and was nearing retirement age, yet he had never had a full-time income with the church. He had to have other jobs to supplement his salary—and still, it was not enough. “How do I ask my parish to tithe when I can’t?” This man needed to hear that God isn’t disappointed or ashamed of him.
Remember the widow’s mite? Sometimes 1 percent is all we can afford, even with 100 percent gratefulness and generosity in our hearts. God is the one who repays sevenfold. I have seen God’s incredible, nonjudgmental generosity all my life. It has been far more than sevenfold of what I have ever given. Thanks be to God.
MOVING FORWARD: How do you understand tithing in your own personal economy?