Discipleship deepens only to if we take time to be alone with Jesus in personal prayer. There are three firsts of discipleship, which I invite you to bring to prayer. Have a private conversation with Jesus. Be open to ever-deepening discipleship.
THE FIRST — FIRST
Make God FIRST in your life as evidenced by a deeper commitment to prayer—both privately and communally. When you wake up in the morning, are your first thoughts about God? If so, are your first thoughts “good morning God,” or something like “good God its morning.” Consider daily Mass as a possibility. Beginning September 17th, we will celebrate Mass at 7 pm each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There will also be Confessions at 6:30 pm those same evenings. Ask Jesus what YOU can do to grow in discipleship through prayer.
THE SECOND — FIRST
Put others FIRST. Maybe that means spending more quality time with your spouse and children. Maybe that means being a more courteous driver—or holding the door for others—or just not being so busy that you forget to smile at others.
Of course there are acts of Christian charity. Certainly, Thanksgiving and Christmas makes us mindful of others. But how is Jesus challenging you to put others first every day?
THE THIRD — FIRST
Offer your FIRST FRUITS. The Bible challenges us to tithe—to give ten percent of our earnings to the Lord. Part of a biblical tithe is called the first fruits. That is the biblical practice of offering the first fruits of one’s labor to the Lord in gratitude before taking fruit for one’s self. Our Jewish and Protestant brothers and sisters are accustomed to tithing. It is also observed in the south due to the influence of our non-Catholic brethren.
If our parish is going to be sustained well into the future, it is essential to increase our ordinary income on a regular basis. We just issued our financials two weeks ago in the bulletin. You will have noted that our ordinary income is down. It has been trending that way for years. But we need to reverse that. The good news is that our membership is on the rise.
Please consider giving YOUR first fruits to support the parish. That means if you make ten dollars an hour, then give ten dollars each week in the collection. If you make fifty or hundred dollars an hour, then give that. And so on. If you already tithe—we have a small few who do— then please continue. Thank you! Thank you all for giving in so many ways.