"If you give what you have as alms, all will be wiped clean for you." —Luke 11:41
At Mass this morning, I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me to the Scripture that He desired to use for this teaching. Then I read the daily eucharistic readings from my Bible as they were proclaimed in the Liturgy of the Word. I listened to the homily and jotted notes as the Spirit prompted. Then the priest encouraged us to generously give alms, based on Jesus' words in today's Gospel (Lk 11:41). I stopped writing notes and mentally protested to God: "Lord, I can't give alms right now. Money's really tight." The Lord responded immediately: "So is your heart!"
Jesus says: "Wherever your treasure lies, there your heart will be" (Lk 12:34). If we treasure a healthy bank account balance, our heart will be on our bank account balance. If we treasure the things of God, our hearts won't be tight, but rather open. To all who fear that the Father will not provide, Jesus proclaims: "Do not live in fear, little flock. It has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms" (Lk 12:32-33).
In the movie A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge must watch his relatives play a game called "Similes" with their friends. Ebenezer's nephew, who is leading the game, calls out, "Tight as...", to which his wife responds: "Tight as...your Uncle Scrooge's purse strings!" Scrooge repents of a tight heart and gives alms profusely from a cheerful heart (see 2 Cor 9:7). May God give us new, open hearts (Ez 36:26) so we can "go and do the same" (Lk 10:37).
Prayer: Father, loosen my heart to be trusting instead of tight. "Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours."
Promise: "It is in the Spirit that we eagerly await the justification we hope for, and only faith can yield it." —Gal 5:5
Praise: Jesus revealed His Sacred Heart and passionate love for humanity to St. Margaret Mary. She was reviled for this and disbelieved by many, but the love of Jesus sustained her.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 10, 2012
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