Thursday, September 22, 2011

Authentic Piety is Not Good Intentions but Putting Your Money and Time Where Your Faith Is

I recently visited St Patrick's in Soho, London, which has undergone a massive renovation. Churches like this are a testimony to people putting their money where their faith is. Do you tithe? Do you have a certain amount of minutes you spend only with God a day? These are ways of truly showing piety, or giving God his due.Add Video

In today's readings for Mass we see that the Israelites did not do this. They returned from exile and let the house of the Lord be in shambles while they spent all their time and money on themselves:

Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?

Many small villages, poor farming communities, simple and humble peoples around the world have shown their piety by giving their first fruits, the best of their time and money to God by building him a beautiful house. Far from being a sign of the Church's temporal wealth it is a sign of the nobility of the poor of God, who give him their best.

Why do people spend three hours at a football match and then get upset if the homily is a few minutes longer? How can people criticize spending in the Church if they do not spend on the Church? People throw their spare change into the collection plate and then complain when there is difficulty balancing the budget.

The truth is that if you don't give your time and money to God you are deceiving yourselves. You may think you have faith but without works, without the fruit of this faith showing true piety of giving God his due, your faith is dead. It is like a metanoia (conversion) without an epistrefa (change of physical behavior). Good intentions pave the road to hell. Repent and change your behavior, not just your intentions! Do not be like Herod the Tetrarch who wanted to admit that Jesus was the Messiah but could not bring himself to accept the change his message would bring.

Listen to my homily for today:

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