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, the Giver and the Gifts, 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: St. Casimir, the son of a king, refused to go to battle against any Christian nation.
Reference: (This Lent, give the Lord the gift of time by reading His word. For encouragement, order our tape Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ on audio AV 82-1 or video V-82.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002