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Saturday, June 7, 1997

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Immaculate Heart of Mary

Tobit 12:1, 5-15, 20
Tobit 13
Mark 12:38-44

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"They gave from their surplus wealth, but she gave from her want, all that she had to live on." —Mark 12:44

When we give alms from our surplus wealth, we are obeying the Lord and pleasing Him. "Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving" (Tb 12:8). "Those who regularly give alms shall enjoy a full life" (Tb 12:9).

Alms-giving can become alms-living, that is, we can give not from our surplus wealth but from all that we have to live on (Mk 12:44). In alms-living, we give "our very lives" (1 Thes 2:8). We give our souls (see Is 58:10 in the Hebrew).

When we give ourselves and not just something from ourselves, our giving enters a new dimension. When we become the gift, the gift becomes a sacrifice. Even a little sacrifice is worth more than gifts of sizable amounts (Mk 12:41-43). Sacrifices have greater power than gifts. They can be used by the Lord to save "one from death and" expiate "every sin" (Tb 12:9).

God desires and deserves much more than gifts. He desires sacrifices. He even sacrificed His Son on the cross. Give sacrificially. Sacrifice your life to the Lord. "I beg you through the mercy of God to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God" (Rm 12:1).

Prayer:  Father, make my life a sacrifice of praise.

Promise:  "Turn back, you sinners! Do the right before Him: perhaps He may look with favor upon you and show you mercy." —Tb 13:6

Praise:  Mary, through her immaculate heart, gave life to Him Who would give His life for us all.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996