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Saturday, June 6, 1998

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St. Norbert

2 Timothy 4:1-8
Psalm 71
Mark 12:38-44

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the joy of giving all

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

Jesus, Who gave everything for us by dying on the cross, calls us to respond by giving everything for Him. Therefore, we don't give only from our surplus but also from our wants. We give what we truly need and therefore go without necessities. Have you ever given to the Lord to the point that you couldn't buy enough food to get the calories necessary to function normally? How many parents have given up such a basic necessity as sleep as they pour out their lives for their children? How many people in difficult marriages continue to love their spouses unconditionally although their needs for being respected, affirmed, and loved are not being met?

Life in Christ is a life of sacrificial, crucified giving. As Mother Teresa has said, we as followers of Christ must give till it hurts. In a self-centered society, this does not sound like good news. But paradoxically, only by giving all do we have a life worth living. Jesus warns and promises us: "Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will save it" (Lk 9:24).

Prayer:  Father, may I understand and live that "there is more happiness in giving than receiving" (Acts 20:35).

Promise:  "I for my part am already being poured out like a libation. The time of my dissolution is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." —2 Tm 4:6-7

Praise:  Norbert, a worldly young priest, was thrown off his horse and knocked unconscious during a violent thunderstorm. After regaining consciousness an hour later, he imitated the apostle Paul, saying, "Lord, what will You have me do?" The Lord told him: "Turn from evil and do good; seek after peace and pursue it." Norbert zealously gave his life to Jesus, sold all his estates, and gave the money to the poor.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997