Gifts. By focusing on gifts, one might think I have the seasons confused. Are we preparing for Christmas? Is this Advent we are on the verge of entering? No. Today’s first reading is really about what we can give to God. Again these readings are so wonderful as we approach Lent. How is it we can do more of what God wants us to give Him?
Listen to all these good things. Works of charity. Giving alms. Refraining from evil. Avoiding injustice. A generous spirit. These are wonderful acts. These are great gifts to God for all He has done for us. And most wonderful for us, God gives us far more than we can ever give Him. God is never outdone in generosity.
This is what the Apostles learn in the gospel. Just as the book of Sirach says a gift to God is returned seven-fold, so too will the apostles be so rewarded. For the sacrifices they have made, the rewards will be great. But these gifts will not be without hardship. These gifts will not be without persecution. These gifts will require the willingness of the apostles to suffer in the name of Jesus.
What is it you will give to God? What is it God wants you to do? What riches do you have to share with God, and the people of God? And in what ways have you not given the gifts, or used them, or done something about them? Now is the time. This is the acceptable hour. Your salvation is near at hand.