Laudatur Iesus Christus.
The New Law does not require “tithes” because the demands of the New Law are much greater than 10%. Tithes are based on a division between what belongs to a man and what belongs to God. Under the New Law total commitment and total sacrifice of self is required. Hence, we make offering of ourselves and of our works every seven days in Mass, seven being the symbol of completeness. This reaffirmation of our offering of self and works to God constitutes a complete donation of all that we are and have to the service of the Kingdom of God. (The challenge is to live up to this sacrifice in spirit and truth, and not just in form and words.)
Another poster said that the Old Law’s rotation and division among, “give to the priests, go on a holiday, and give to the poor, widows and orphans,” put him off tithes. This makes sense; this division is a sort of preparation for the New Law. It is easy to see that one is giving to God when one gives cash or a check to the Church, for her support and good works. However, under the New Law one is challenged to intend and make real the idea that when one spends money on one’s family, one does it in the direct service of God and His Kingdom. When one goes on vacation, one should do it in the direct service of God; when one gives a gift to someone who is in need or helps a friend who is in a difficult financial position, one should do it in direct service to God.
Tithing is not the Law of the Church, because much more is expected. Not just 10% is expected; in fact, not just 100% is required, since what St. Paul said of the thief is true of all: “let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need,” (Ephesians (RSV) 4:28). We are expected to *produce *fruit, specifically so that it can be given to the Kingdom.
Finally, remember the rich man who inquired about entering eternal life: “Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” (Matthew (RSV) 19:21-22.) Christ calls each of us to this perfection, either directly as religious who renounce possessions and live a vow of manifest poverty, or, less visibly, as one who is “poor in spirit,” holding and regarding one’s possessions not as one’s own, but as the property and at the service of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Tithing is not part of the New Law, not because a tenth is too much to give to the Church, but because 90% is too much to keep from the Church’s work as the nascent Kingdom of Heaven.
Spiritus Sapientiae nobiscum.