Jesus often uses hyperbole to stress an important principle. The passage from today’s Gospel is an excellent case in point: “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” A similar type of hyperbole is used by a mother to her son when she says, “I’ve told you a million times to clean this room!” So, Jesus doesn’t want us to literally hate our family members; after all He also told us to “love one another.” He uses this type of exaggeration to make clear that being His disciple comes first. If no other person comes before Jesus, certainly no other thing should come before Him. That is why Jesus also says, “In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
To renounce possessions does not mean we should all live as beggars. If we did, from whom would we beg? No, it means that we use our possessions for the good of others (and our families and ourselves, too), for the assistance of the Church, and for the Glory of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2043), explains the precepts of the Church, concluding: "The fifth precept means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability." The Old Testament taught that the People of Israel were to tithe, that is, return 10% of their increase to the Lord. Though the precise formula no longer strictly applies, the principle does. According to one’s means, all are obliged to support the works of the Church. In this way all can give equally: if not in the amount of money, certainly in the generosity with which it is given. That is why our Lord praised the poor woman who gave only a few pennies.
Our parish’s fiscal year ended on June 30, 2022, and the SSPP Financial Report will soon be completed. A copy of the report will be included in the parish bulletin on September 18.
May God bless you!