"Did not He Who made the outside make the inside too?" —Luke 11:40
Jesus didn't wash His dishes and the Pharisees were appalled. The Lord said to them: "You Pharisees! You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but within you are filled with rapaciousness" (Lk 11:39). Jesus then challenged the Pharisees to give alms so as to be cleansed from their sins (Lk 11:41). The Lord did not mean to say that money could buy forgiveness, but called for an outward sign to express an interior conversion. John the Baptizer did the same thing when he demanded from religious leaders some evidence that they meant to reform (Mt 3:8). Since the Pharisees were avaricious men (Lk 16:14), almsgiving would be a sign of sincere repentance.
We also are focused on money and the things money can buy. Therefore, almsgiving may be a good way for us to express an interior change of heart. Go to Confession, ask the Holy Spirit to examine your conscience, then make a very generous contribution to the Lord's work. The Lord does not need our money. He lets us give for our benefit, not His. He does not need to receive; He is the almighty God. However, we need to give as an outward expression of interior conversion.
Prayer: Father, may I deliver the money You've entrusted to me to its proper place.
Promise: "I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God leading everyone who believes in it to salvation." —Rm 1:16
Praise: St. Margaret Mary let the Sacred Heart of Jesus make her heart like His. Through her obedient faithfulness, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has spread for many years to many nations.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our book, The Bible on Money.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007
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