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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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Sirach 35:1-12
Psalm 50:5-8, 14, 23
Mark 10:28-31

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another season of giving

"Give to the Most High as He has given to you, generously, according to your means." —Sirach 35:9

God the Father loves us so much that He gave us His Son (Jn 3:16). Jesus said: "There is more happiness in giving than receiving" (Acts 20:35). The Holy Spirit is both the Gift of the Father and the Son and the Giver of gifts (see 1 Cor 12:4ff). The essence of the Triune God is the giving and the gifts. Thus, those baptized into God are re-born to give. We must not be "sparing of freewill gifts" (Sir 35:7). As disciples of Jesus, we must give up everything so as to give everything to the Lord (Mk 10:29).

Tomorrow we begin Lent. In this holy season, we have the privilege of giving the Lord the gifts of our alms, prayers, and fastings (see Mt 6:2ff). Christmas is a time of gift-giving, and Lent, followed by Easter, are times of even greater gift-giving. Like the gifts of the wise men to the newborn Christ (see Mt 2:11), our Lenten gifts are symbolic of the total giving of ourselves to the Lord. Our Christmas gifts should focus us on the Gift of the Christ-Child. Our Lenten gifts should be in the shadow of the cross and on the threshold of the glory of the resurrection. While it is always appropriate to give gifts, a wedding gift should be different than a birthday gift. Give the Lord the unique gifts of Lent to express again and deeper than ever the gift of your total love and life.

Prayer:  Father, teach me through Your crucified Son how to give alms and to give all forever.

Promise:  "The Lord is One Who always repays, and He will give back to you sevenfold." —Sir 35:10

Praise:  Giving her smoking addiction to Jesus in an intense way, Connie was not only freed of the desire to smoke, but also of all ill effects that habit had produced over the years.

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Lent and the Renewal of Our Baptismal Promises, order, view or download our leaflet or order, listen to, or download our series starting with CD 83-1 or DVD 83 on our website or order our tape series starting with audio AV 83-1 or video V 83.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2016

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