Today we honor St. Peter’s founding of the Church in Rome, but we might just look at something in the first reading where it tells ministers of the Gospel not to perform their tasks “for shameful profit.” It brings up the topic of talking about money in church.
Lookingfor money talk in the Bible, I first hit on it in Chapter Fourteen of Genesis. There Abraham swooped down on the plunderers who had made off with his nephew, while robbing all the villages along the Jordan. Abraham came back with all the loot, and on meeting the priest Melchizedek, he gave him a tenth of all he had, beginning the custom of tithing.
Going to the other end of the Bible, in Chapter Five of his “Letter to Timothy” Paul wrote, “Presbyters who preside will receive double honor, especially those who toil in teaching and preaching. For Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it is threshing,’ and, ‘A worker deserves his pay.’”
We all dislike anything that looks like a racket, like pew rent, or charging large sums for weddings in a parish church that one rightly calls his own.
For myself, I am free from needing extra payment. The diocese gives us a pension that is big enough that I don’t need to ask for money.
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