Today's reflection may be a bit uncomfortable for some. It has to do with giving. No, I'm not going to make a plug for your bishop's appeal; you've probably heard enough about that lately. But today's readings make clear the necessity of giving, and the benefits derived from it.
"In a generous spirit pay homage to the LORD, be not sparing of freewill gifts. With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy. Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means." Sirach 35: 7-9 In the Gospel reading from Mark 10, Jesus tells Peter what he can expect because he had "given up everything and followed you."
Studies show that Catholics, on average, give about 1.5% of their income. The Biblical standard, the tithe, is 10%. On this day before Lent, take a moment to think about how you're doing with your giving. Are you giving enough? More important, are you giving freely and generously, with a cheerful countenance?
Father, help us to be more generous, as you are so generous to us. Amen.
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